Online gradebook temporarily closed during school hours

A+student+logs+onto+the+online+gradebook%2C+Genesis%2C+to+check+their+grades.+Genesis+is+closed+from+Monday+to+Thanksgiving+after+teachers+expressed+concern+about+the+gradebook+being+distracting.++

Molly Heintze

A student logs onto the online gradebook, Genesis, to check their grades. Genesis is closed from Monday to Thanksgiving after teachers expressed concern about the gradebook being distracting.

Habitual gradebook checkers have had to find other ways to occupy themselves in class after Monday.

The online gradebook is temporarily closed as of Monday during the school day in the “Pilot Gradebook Program” set to last until Thanksgiving by the Pascack Valley Regional High School District.

This program has been constructed in response to administrator-accessed data on Genesis, the district’s online gradebook system. According to the Superintendent of the PVRHSD, Mr. Erik Gundersen, concern from teachers about the gradebook becoming distracting during class prompted administrators to first analyze data about students’ use of Genesis.  

The data shows the number of times students logged into Genesis throughout the 2017-2018 school year for students who were freshmen, sophomores, or juniors.

Katie Mullaney

“We really didn’t see this was becoming an issue until sometime last year when teachers, and students as well, began to talk about how student activity on and repeated analysis of their grades on Genesis impacted what they were doing in the classroom,” Gundersen said.

PV Principal Mr. Tom DeMaio said that Genesis was “never meant to become an obsession.”

The numbers of times Genesis is accessed per student over a calendar school year time frame range from zero to 2,208 times at Valley and zero to 3,826 times at Hills. This translates to multiple daily logins by students.

The gradebook, according to PV Principal Tom DeMaio, has been available online for students for at least ten years.

Before the Pilot Program launched, the gradebook could have been accessed at any time by PV students.

The administrators worked closely with the student councils at Hills and Valley to be able to understand the student perspective when formatting the best program to pilot.

At meetings held by the class councils, there was concern with the new pilot, according to Executive Class Council President Ryan Novakowski, because “not everybody who logs into Genesis is doing so to check their grades.”

“I’m not always using it [Genesis] to check my grades which is why I don’t feel like I’m addicted to them,” Novakowski said. “I’m usually using it to see how many absences I have or if I have any missing assignments.”

“Students that are logging on multiple times a day suggests to us that students are really only focused on the numbers they are seeing in the gradebook,” Gundersen said. “We want to do this to take the emphasis off of the grade and put it back on learning.”

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