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Marlborough implements changes to gradebook policy to combat late work

Staff Illustrator Sera ’24

A new school-wide policy allows parents to view student gradebooks four times a semester instead of two. The Marlborough administration originally proposed having the gradebook open to parents throughout the semester as part of a concerted effort to prevent late work, but the Student Academic Advisory Committee unanimously opposed this policy suggestion. Given SAAC’s feedback, the new policy was dialed back to giving parents an opportunity to view student gradebooks four times per semester. Although SAAC played a key role in persuading the administration to open the gradebook only four times a semester, some members of SAAC still believe the policy provides parents with too much access to student gradebooks.  

“A lot of students get stressed out when the gradebook opens and parents can put a lot of pressure on them, which is unnecessary especially when there is already self-motivated stress and stress created by peers at Marlborough,” SAAC member Maisie ’22 said. 

Some SAAC members were opposed to having the gradebook open to parents more often not only because it may cause additional stress among the students, but also because the efficacy of this policy in preventing late work is unclear. 

“I don’t think the policy will make that big of an impact on late work,” SAAC member Natalie ’24 said.  “If students aren’t motivated to do the work, it’s not as if their parents will have the ability to motivate them. A huge part of Marlborough is taking responsibility for your own academics.” 

Natalie feels that parents’ ability to fully understand the gradebook might be an issue with the efficacy of this policy. 

“Parents would need to be taught to read the gradebook,” Natalie said. “When looking at the gradebook, parents might not take into consideration retakes or how assignments are weighted at the beginning of a semester.” 

For Maisie, parents’ ability to look at their student’s gradebook is an added stress to the pressure already present in the Marlborough environment.  

“For students with parents who put a lot of pressure on them, having the gradebook open more often will cause stress and anxiety for students more frequently,” Maisie said. 

Some students see the benefit in letting parents have more knowledge about their childrens’ progress considering the uncertainty of online school.

“I think a majority of parents aren’t checking their child’s gradebook very often and I see the benefit in parents having more access to their students’ progress during online learning,” Beverly ’22 said. 

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