“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it:” a senior’s rant on PowerSchool


By Adam Wenkoff ’18

While not having a way to check our grades online has been an inconvenience for all students at Staples, it’s been incredibly annoying for seniors, especially those that are looking to apply either Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA) to schools this year.

Most schools’ deadline for applying ED or EA is set on Nov. 1. That gives seniors less than one quarter of the school year to get the best grades that they can before they turn in their early applications.

Having PowerSchool closed for almost half of what may be the most pivotal two months of senior year not only hurts our ability to do that, but it’s also just unnecessarily annoying.

If I struggle on a test, I’m going to want to set up a meeting with a teacher as soon as I know my grade. If I don’t know that I struggled until I get the test back, which could be up to a week after the grades are released online, I’m not going to be able to go over what I didn’t understand until much later.

To most students, a week isn’t a terribly long time to wait. But for a senior that only has a quarter of school before they apply to college, every day holds a hefty amount of weight.

A similar issue comes up for missed assignments. I could have a zero on an assignment that I missed because I was sick and, unless my teacher told me about it, I would have no clue. So, the class that I think I have an A in could end up hurting my GPA the most right now.

If PowerSchool was up right now and if I were to check my grades, I’d bet that I would be surprised by my grade in at least two subjects. In order to get the best grades that I can get, I need to know exactly how I’m doing in all of my classes. PowerSchool’s failures so far this year does not allow me to know that.

This PowerSchool delay also hurts athletes that are trying to finish the recruiting process right now. I’ve had two coaches ask me how my grades are doing now that we’re three weeks into the school year, and I had to give them a rough estimate of how I was doing because I really wasn’t sure. It’s not detrimental, but it’s another thing that we shouldn’t have to worry about.

The worst part about all of these technological difficulties is that they aren’t even necessary. Sure, the old Home Access Center was slow sometimes, and it would often do a poor job of calculating our GPA’s, but it worked. I’d rather have a slow website that sometimes gave inaccurate GPA calculations than a more modern system that has taken more than three months to set up.

Honestly, if PowerSchool still isn’t working in a week, I don’t think that there’s any student that would mind going back to a working Home Access Center, even if it isn’t as pretty.

Why do students have to suffer when it’s the administration’s fault that the program isn’t working?