By Hayden Welty ’19
From a student perspective, it can easily seem like there is no reason why viewing grades in MyBrophy should be closed down over the winter break.
But if you look deeper, there is a good reason why the policy is what it is.
For example, if a student has an 89.4 percent, then that is technically a B+. However, some teachers, if they feel the student worked hard that semester, would round it up to a 90 percent, or an A-. As such, teachers are often bombarded with emails from students looking to raise their grade.
This can present a problem because not only do teachers want to enjoy their break like the rest of us, but some teachers also like to use the break as a time to reflect on whether a student deserves to be rounded up a grade level or not.
With gradebooks shut down, students will not know their grades, and, as a result, students cannot ask to be rounded up.
Closing MyBrophy over the break also allows everyone, both students and teachers, to have an actual break without having to be concerned over final grades. Being shut out of the system is a nice excuse to ignore academia for two weeks and just relax, as there’s no reason to be concerned about when a teacher will input a final.
For me, I tend to easily get obsessed with my grades, so not being able to access them at all times, especially when the final scores are getting tallied up, is really frustrating.
Throughout a semester, I pour all my effort, from 7 a.m. in the morning to 3 p.m. in the afternoon, into this one activity that boils down into a series of letters.
And, at the moment when all the effort either pays off or doesn’t, I’m locked out of the system.
That’s beyond frustrating, but it’s also game-changing in a strange way. It means that there is nothing I can do to see my grades; in other words, no matter what, I can’t do anything to discover what my final results are, despite any effort that I could put in.
That is a definitive and resolute way to force me to tune out and forget about finals until I get back to school.
I know I would be constantly checking and stressing about when all my final grades would be inputted and what those grades were, so, in a strange way, I guess the fact that the grade book closes is kind of liberating.
When it comes to whether or not Brophy should open the gradebook over the break, I understand both student and teacher perspectives on the issue, and I feel like there’s no obvious answer that would make all students and teachers happy.
However, I think the current policy can be reformed.
Currently, grades continue to stay closed past the break and throughout the entire first week of the second semester.
This is primarily because after the final grades are submitted by teachers the first morning of the semester at 8:00 a.m., the registrar needs to work on making sure that all of the information is correct on GPAs, transcripts and report cards.
I see no reason why the school cannot not release the grades when we get back.
Obviously, someone needs to go through all the official school documents listing the grades to validate everything, but I still think that the actual grades themselves should be released to the student body on the day we get back.
I see no reason why the unofficial final grades shouldn’t be released on that Tuesday; they wouldn’t be rounded up at this point, and by then, teachers are back to school and have a responsibility to answer emails or student questions in person.
To me, this is what is wrong about MyBrophy closing down over break: Not only is it off limits during break, but it is also blocked when we get back too.
I would propose that the unofficial grades—not on any sort of report card or transcript—get released to all students the day after teachers submit all final grades.