The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Parents Ability to Access PowerSchool

Parents use the online PowerSchool portal to view their students grades.
Parents use the online PowerSchool portal to view their student’s grades.

I am sure it is well-known to many students that, unfortunately, parents can access the dreaded PowerSchool — an online portal where teachers post student grades quite consistently. In the complex world of technology today, kids suffer from a fearful punishment for subpar grades on a weekly basis.

This is much different from decades ago where kids weren’t penalized until the day the report card came home. One bad grade may not affect your overall score in the class, but it will affect your social life when your parents see PowerSchool.

If it doesn’t seem easy enough already for parents to view your grades, it gets even easier. Libertyville High School offers a choice where an automatic email is sent to parents every week of their child’s grades.

You may think you’re safe if your parents forget the password to PowerSchool, but you’re not. Don’t worry, the LHS website makes sure to give detailed instructions of who to call (with the number, of course) if the password is lost.

If your parents don’t sign up for the weekly progress reports, they will receive updates for the regular progress report dates, which are linked to the website so they won’t forget when to check.

If your teacher is kind enough to add a comment on a specific grade, the website gives descriptive instructions on how to view the comment.

Last but not least, the PowerSchool section on the website also shares a link titled “How to talk with your Wildcat about grades,” in case your parents haven’t covered this already.

As you can see, the high school greatly encourages parents to view their child’s grades. Whether or not this is a bad thing is a matter of which perspective you’re looking at.

Every time a student receives a grade from a test, quiz, or project, they’re either grinning from ear to ear at the sight of an A or groaning at the punishment they will receive from their C. Maybe this unveils the real issue, that students only approve of their own grades if their parents do.

Sitting in AP Lang, my teacher will frequently inform the class that the recent grade he entered in the gradebook will not count toward our final grades, shown with an orange star. Even knowing this, students become frantic because even though the grade won’t count, their parents will still see it.

“I don’t want my mom seeing any bad grade, even if it doesn’t count,” said junior Hadley VanDerBosch, a student in my AP Lang class.

My teacher’s purpose in entering these grades is to give feedback and to show our improvement. Sadly, students take this as a punishment because their parents will be able to view it. Is this right? Is education supposed to instill fear among us or is it supposed to give us feedback to help us learn and develop?

While it is important to make your parents proud, you should give 100 percent effort to impress yourself, not your parents. The access of grades by parents has changed students’ goals in school immensely, and not in a good way. Students tend to work hard and strive for high grades to avoid unwanted confrontation with their parents. In a perfect world, students would work hard and strive for high grades in order to make a bright future for themselves. It’s sad to see kids so worked up over one bad grade when they should take that grade as a learning experience that will improve their work on the next assignment.

On the other hand, it is important for parents to follow their child’s progress in school since they are supporting and paying for their education. It could be helpful to make sure you and your parents have a clear and respectful conversation with each other on whether or not you feel it apt for your parents to have a PowerSchool account. Some students may benefit from their parents’ input and supervision of their grades while it might be helpful for others to handle this aspect of high school on their own.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Parents Ability to Access PowerSchool