Limiting Access to the Parent Portal

by Hallie Gordon

At Byram Hills High School, grades are very important to students. As technology has emerged, grades are now published electronically. Parent Portal is a way for students to easily access their grades in all subjects. It has a feature called “Grade Book,” which allows students to see their grade on each individual assignment as well as their overall average for the class. The Parent Portal is accessible for all parents and students to view through the Byram Hills website.

In previous years, the “Grade Book” feature could be viewed at any time during the day. Many, particularly teachers, felt that students having access to their grades during the school day added stress to their already stressful day. In the middle of class, students would want to check their latest grade and would become too easily distracted. As a result, the administration has now blocked Parent Portal during the school day for students and parents, opening the “Grade Book” at 3:00 pm.

The idea of not being able to view your grades during the day has caused lots of controversy among students. Junior Daryn Kaplan mentioned that last year she “used to check the Parent Portal every second of the day,” and thus, thinks that “it is a relief to have it blocked” as “it [has caused her] to be less stressed during the day.” Daryn, and many other students who have attended school while having access to their grades, actually prefer that the portal is blocked during the school day.

On the contrary, students who are new to high school have never experienced the environment of high school at the time in which the Parent Portal could be accessed during the day. Freshman Talia Deutsch feels that Parent Portal shouldn’t be restricted during the day and she believes that access to Parent Portal would create less stress because you can find out your score on a test before physically getting it back. She feels that it is important because “everyone wants to know what they got and it creates a stressful environment when teachers wait until the bell to give tests back.” Knowing you are getting your test back in a subject that very day leaves everyone anxious instead of paying attention to the new lesson.

Lastly, Mr. Andriello shares his view on access to the Parent Portal during the day. Because his class is mainly computer based, in previous years students would have easy access to their grades during class. Therefore, Mr Andriello is very supportive of the portal being blocked. He states, “Students are not checking on tests in other classes, or clicking all the time to see their most up to date grade. I am 100% in favor of having it blocked during the school day.”

Overall, the environment of high school appears to be less stressful with the new changes. Although some feel that these changes negatively impact them, the majority of students and administrators feel that this new change has reduced stress. School can be very stressful for students at certain times, so anything done to help reduce that stress greatly benefits the students!