Powerschool powered off


Junior Avery Swickard stresses about her grades and not being able to see them during the school day. Photo by Delilah Coe

Junior Avery Swickard rushes home, anxious to see what she got on her math test. PowerSchool has been disabled during school hours for a week and she just wants to be aware of what her grades are. Swickard, like most Mercy students, wants access to her grades during the school day because the limited viewing time adds more stress to her hectic life.

As of October 8, 2019 Mercy has disabled PowerSchool during the school day (7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) for both parents and students, in hopes of lowering stress levels for students constantly checking their grades throughout the school day. For most students the high pressure of a college preparatory school leads to stress over grades, college, testing, and more, but not being able to see grades just causes more stress.

There is a sense of comfort students get from having access to their grades, and when that is taken away they are even more anxious to get home to see what grade they received on a test or if their Algebra grade went up. Mercy should allow students to have access to PowerSchool during the school day because even though grades are stressful, not being able to see them is worse.

“For the past week I’ve been worrying about my grades during school instead of my schoolwork,” said Junior, Avery Swickard, “I want to be aware of my grades.”

Most students can relate to Swickard because grades are an important part of high school. As an alternative option, Mercy should incorporate mediation or mental health exercises or put less emphasis on the importance of grades to lower stress levels.

“This isn’t a way to take my mind off my grades or lower my stress,” said Swickard.

Grades are grades, and not allowing students access to them will not change that. If students are not stressed during the school day about their grades, then they will be stressed when they get home.

Even though teachers and staff want to manage student stress, this is not the way to do it. The anticipation combined with the stress leaves students in a panicked state. Even though the intention was good, PowerSchool being disabled for students and parents during the day does not lower stress, but increases it.