Hello, my name is Sue and I’m a Powerschool-aholic. With the exception of Diet Coke, which I’m pretty sure I could give up with minimal side effects, I don’t really have any addictions. At least I didn’t until I got hooked on Powerschool. Before Powerschool, parents had to rely on conferences, progress reports, report cards and the occasional email or phone call to let them know how their child was doing in school. Then, all of a sudden we have current access to grades for every assignment, quiz, test and project our kids do, or don’t do.
Truth be told, I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing. In listening to parents and students I’m hearing a little of each. On the one hand, it allows us to be informed consumers. Before Powerschool we usually had a general idea of how our kids were doing in a given class but there were always those surprises. A grade would take a nosedive and we had no idea until the progress report came out. Powerschool eliminates these surprises, which can dramatically cut down on the post-report card drama.
On the other hand, too much information can drive you and your kid crazy. I’ve heard a few stories about parents who are obsessively checking Powerschool daily and drilling their kids on each new grade. Not only is this a prime example of “helicopter” parenting, it constantly puts your child in the stressful position of having to defend every grade. On the other hand, it allows parents to stay on top of their kids grades and address an area of difficulty before it becomes a problem.
A parent of one of my students told me her straight A son was compulsively checking his grades several times a day. Not healthy. If your child is a Powerschool junkie, please change your password and only allow your kid to check once or twice a week with you present. Actually, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to allow access only to those families where the student is underperforming.
There is also the question of responsibility. At some point we have to trust our kids to do what they need to do. If we always catch them before they fall, they will never learn to stand on their own. Personally, I try to only look at Powerschool once a week for my younger son (and not at all for my graduating senior because it causes my blood pressure to soar and my eye to twitch, but that’s a whole other article). So, if you too are addicted to Powerschool , take a deep breath, step away from the computer, and remember that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.