New grading system proves divisive to staff and students

The Student Information System went live on Sept. 21, providing an interactive way for parents to access their children’s grades online. Some, however, disagree over whether the system has had its intended positive effect on the school environment.

SIS is meant to improve communication between teachers and parents, as the system allows parents to see individual assignment grades for each class, as well as attendance and personal information.
Some students, however, believe that SIS is problematic because it causes parents to react before students even have time to remediate poor scores.

“It’s just more of a problem because now that they can see your grade at any time they’ll see if you have a D but they won’t understand that you’re going to remediate and fix your grade,” sophomore Haley Tonizzo said.

Other students have taken a more matter of fact approach, arguing that SIS does not change the grades themselves, but rather only the method through which parents can see the grades.

“I think it’s fine,” sophomore Emma Choi said. “No matter what happens, parents are going to find out. My parents might get on my case more about my grades but they’ll understand.”

One of the frequently cited benefits of the new system was the sense of accountability that it enforces.

“[SIS] gives the students and their parents a better insight on your current grade that you can’t usually get with interim grades and report cards,” junior Shannon Russel said. “It keeps me on track with what I need to remediate or turn in.”

Math teacher Gabi Rangel Lafuente sees the situation similarly as she is not bothered by the increased accountability.

“I like it,” Rangel-LaFuente said. “I don’t mind that parents are involved and engaged in seeing what’s going on.”

While Rangel-LaFuente supports SIS, she still wants Fairfax County Public Schools to allow students to create their own accounts.

“The students need to take ownership of their grades,” Ragel-LaFuente said. “Instead of parents relaying the grade to the student, and them not even knowing it yet.”

For junior Bruce Stewart, the problems with the system are over-hyped.

“There’s nothing to be unhappy with,” Stewart said. “It’s just a monitoring system so there’s nothing wrong with it.”