Grade Book Shutdown Creates Anxious Limbo

Erika Riedel and Sheila Teker

For the 1st time, the School Loop grade book portal was closed to students and parents through the duration of winter break, starting on December 23.

Although students were able to log on to their School Loop calendars and see assignments, their grades were not displayed. According to Vice Principal Jon Drury, this disabled access was a “district decision” with the aim of reducing student stress.

A number of students saw this shutdown as an inconvenience rather than relief from the end-of-semester panic following 1st-semester final exams.

According to sophomore Megan Mitchell, the administration’s decision to shut down grade book access made her more “focused on grades.” Despite having “forgotten about it in the end,” Mitchell said that she was “stressed” for “the 1st few days” of the break.

Junior Jocelyn Poon said that the shutdown was “pointless,” leaving students in anxious limbo rather than giving them time to accept their grades, ultimately “causing more stress.”

Poon predicts that this new policy will have an especially negative impact on students with “cusp grades” as it is “impossible to enjoy your break when you are left wondering what your grade will be.”

Poon said, “SchoolLoop should not be shut down next year, since they’re trying to reduce stress, but it’s doing the opposite. I would be more stressed if I had grades that were just on the cusp, which I feel like a ton of people do, but I guess if you have grades that won’t be affected, then it’s fine.”

What apparently provided some relief for students was that grades shut down the Sunday after finals. As AP Art History and US History teacher Molly Kerr noted, most teachers already had exams as well as projects graded and posted by then.

Likewise, Mitchell noted that although the results of several finals were posted after the break, she could check her scores through the Illuminate website for multiple-choice tests.

Overall, Kerr said, “I think the idea is, I assume, is that people aren’t obsessed about grades and emailing teachers about grades. I don’t really think it’s an issue 1 way or another.”