SIS malfunction causes stress


Photo courtesy of Maeve Hennessy

Senior Erika Parker checks her grades on her phone. The SIS malfunction makes it difficult for students to keep track of their grades, leading to a lot of stress.

Maeve Hennessy, Scoop Editor

A lot of students who go to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), and especially WS students, are categorized as “Type A.” This type of student is usually very competitive, time managed, and organized. In regard to school, “Type A” students usually care about their grades and want to know exactly what their grades are every second of the day.

Therefore the Student Information System (SIS) malfunction, which is occurring in some classes using the yearlong gradebook model, is a pretty big issue for not only these “Type A” students, but all students in FCPS who like to keep on top of their grades.

“It’s really upsetting because I’m a person who checks my SIS constantly because I want to know what I get on my tests,” said senior Erika Parker.

The cause of the problem can be traced back to FCPS middle schools who requested that SIS would not be opened before the first day of school because students were just looking at their online schedules without going to the open houses to turn in the required paperwork and to pick up their schedules. Unfortunately, SIS is county wide and cannot be personalized for each specific school, so the closed gradebook remains still closed for certain classes and fields due to technological malfunction, even at the high school level.

WS administration staff has already contacted the FCPS IT team and is waiting to hear back about the problem being solved, but it doesn’t change the amount of stress it has already given students.

“It causes a lot of extra stress, and at the same time I don’t know what I’m getting on my work, so I don’t know if whether I should change what I’m doing or not,” said Parker.

For seniors, knowing how well they’re doing in their classes is imperative for getting into college. Seniors need to know which grades they need to keep up, so they can meet the GPA requirements for certain schools.

“I’m very frustrated seeing how this is my senior year and the only grades that count senior year are first quarter [grades] and I can’t even why my grades are the way they are,” said senior Haleigh Morris.

While seniors may have college to worry about, juniors are in the midst of the hardest high school year. Many juniors are taking some of the most challenging courses at WS.

“It’s pretty aggravating due to the fact that most things that I have to turn in for AP Physics are online and we don’t know whether he’s actually seen it or gone through it or not, so I have to ask him [the teacher] about stuff every class which is such a pain,” said junior Tanvir Singh.

Kids are worried about how the rest of the year will go because of the rough start they have already experienced. However, teachers are confident that their students will rise to the occasion.

“Maybe it’s not such big deal in some subject areas but teaching juniors who are taking very rigorous classes, it is a little bit more stress on them; they work hard though, and it’s just taking that extra step to make sure everybody knows to find a way to work around it [the SIS malfunction],” said US History teacher Joanne Pendry.

WS Principal Michael Mukai understands the students’ concerns regarding SIS and their grades, but that’s not what he wants his students to take out of this situation.

“If you go and have a conversation with your teacher about your grade and they see you’re concerned about it they’re going to remember that- it’s really easy to fail a student ID number,” said Mukai.

Though it may seem like the biggest deal in the world to students right now, the administration wants to assure the student body that everything will be okay. The privileges of having grades at the snap of a finger is a 21st century luxury and is definitely not something our teachers had growing up.

“There was a time, long ago when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, where you couldn’t go online and check your grades,” said Mukai.