“Is it on Home Access Yet?”


Rachel Labarre, Managing Editor

Principal John Dodig and the Staples community encouraged students, parents, and the town to strive for one main goal: a non-competitive and stress-free atmosphere. While it has been recognized that this is a lofty goal, recent additions have seemed to do just the opposite.

Take, for example, the increase in AP classes that sophomores can enroll in. Once, it was a shock for a sophomore to take AP Biology, and now there are sophomores taking AP Bio, AP Statistics, and the recent addition of AP US History. For the past two years, AP US has been limited to about 20 selected students. But this year any sophomore can take the class with juniors and seniors, and they have been taking advantage of this “liberty.”

However, the heart of the problem is in the newest technologies implemented in our day-to-day lives. The requirement for all teachers to update Home Access Center and/or Schoology has given anxious mothers and grade-obsessed students something to feed off of. Just two years ago, an occasional science or math class used Jupiter Grades, but otherwise, all was revealed four times a school year. Now, students panic if their score on a test isn’t posted within a week. It’s unhealthy.

And on top of that, the new version of myStaples, called mySHS, has a major addition: a GPA calculator. Plug in the level of your classes and the grades you received, and you have your weighted GPA in minutes. In no time, students will be determining the worst grade that they can get to still have their ideal GPA or what will happen when they get that B in Physics.

There are some benefits to these technological advancements. First, students can keep track of their progress. Instead of receiving “sparkles like a gem” or “grade is in the B range” halfway through the quarter, they can monitor their success or failure every day. And with that, they can be motivated to improve or continue on their track. Additionally, it removes the ambiguity of grades. A student always knows how they are doing in a class, so there is no argument when report cards come out at the end of the quarter.

It is said that everything is healthy in moderation, so it seems the way to survive these new pieces of technology is to do just that. Maybe limit checking Home Access five times a day, to just three. It’s a start.