Pilot: Gradebook Viewing Access

Gradebook Closed During School Day for Trial Period
Image: Word cloud of various words involving a teacher's gradebookBelow is a letter that was emailed to all parents and students on September 24, 2018, explaining that the district will be conducting a six week pilot (October 1 through Thanksgiving) turning off the gradebook during the school day:

Dear Students and Parents,

Several years ago, the district made the decision to open up Genesis gradebook to parents and students in an effort to provide full transparency. The intent was for parents and students to have a realistic understanding of how a student was performing as the school year progressed, as opposed to the traditional "progress report" that would come half way through a marking period.

This past school year, teachers and administrators in both Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley voiced a growing concern pertaining to some students being overly concerned with grades. A common thread and symptom of that concern was student preoccupation with the Genesis gradebook, especially during class time.

This summer, login data was collected by the principals of each building. Both principals subsequently met with their respective student government executive officers to discuss the teacher concerns and share the data collected.

Alarmingly, the data indicates that 41% of underclassmen district-wide logged into Genesis more than 400 times from September through June, with some student logins reaching well over 1000 for the year. Analysis of date and time-stamps, indicate that a large majority of student logins are occurring during school hours. While the purpose of the Genesis “open gradebook” is transparency, data and teacher observation indicate that it has become a distraction for many of our students during class time.

In an attempt to find a balance of awareness of progress, undistracted learning, and student wellness, we are implementing a trial period (October 1 - Thanksgiving) where the gradebook will be closed during the school day. Representatives from the student council, after discussion with their principals, understand the reason for the concern and agree to the implementation of a pilot program. At the conclusion of the pilot, administrators, teachers, and students officers will discuss and evaluate the impact of the pilot and develop a long range plan based on the collective findings.

Beginning October 1st, Genesis gradebook will be closed on school days from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. Thank you for your understanding and anticipated support during the pilot period.

Glenn deMarrais, Principal (Pascack Hills)
Thomas DeMaio, Principal (Pascack Valley)
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