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Students’ Visibility of Grades at Lake Forest Academy

Ananta Srivastava, Staff Writer

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Ananta: Every couple of cycles throughout the semester, students dread the day when interims and progress reports are released, as they anxiously wait to see their grades. Since students at Lake Forest Academy have minimal access to grades, some happy may be happy and surprised when they get to see them, while others may feel the exact opposite. Now, I am here today with Dean of Students Chris Tennyson to discuss LFA’s philosophy about grades.

Ananta: What is the philosophy behind students having minimal access to their grades?

Tennyson: I think, at least as long as I have been here, and I think one of the standing philosophies of the school is that they don’t want an open grade book, only because I think there are a couple reasons. I am probably not going to give all of them because I don’t know all of them. Some of the ones that I recall are things like: the student accessibility to faculty to find out their grades exists pretty easily here; think it is extremely natural. The classes sizes aren’t big enough where you are lost in anyway.

Ananta: While Tennyson believes that the students have the advantage of small sizes to be aware of their grades, he also believes that it is the student’s own responsibility  to know where they stand.

Tennyson: I think the second part of it is that we believe that there is some responsibility for the student to be aware of her or his progress in the class, and where there standing is,  as a result of that. I think the third is that we want our students to not feel-adolescents today live in a pretty high-stakes world, whether it is their own expectations for what they want in college and in life or whether it is their parents expectations or some third party expectations. Having access to public grades heightens the anxiety and/or pressure that comes along with those things.

Ananta: Now, I am joined by History Department Christian Dozois to further discuss the topic. What would you consider the main advantages/ disadvantages of students not being able to see their grades at all times?

Dozois: I think that the advantage of it not sitting online is that when there is a test is given, they don’t instantly go in that day or their families don’t instantly go in that day and wonder where is the score or what is going on with the score because that sometimes puts an unrealistic expectation of when that grade is going to be posted. I put them up pretty quickly in our classes, while other teachers may take longer. So, it becomes a standard where students are looking that night versus waiting to a conversation with the teacher about that grade- so, they might see that grade out of context.

Ananta: Finally, sophomore Teni Bakare is here to discuss LFA’s system when it comes to accessing grades. What do you think are the main  disadvantages/ advantages of students not being able to see their grades at all times?

Bakare: One disadvantage is when choosing classes for the next year. You don’t know what classes to choose due to you not being able to see where you are in the class. One advantage  though is that you don’t have to stress over a grade, seeing that you can really move to the class, but seeing that it also causes you to be a little too relaxes sometimes, and so you lack in the class.

Ananta: Do you believe that students want an open grade book?

Bakare: Personally, I can’t speak for the entire school, but personally I would love an open grade book. I think it would help me personally a lot seeing what grades, in which different tests and quizzes equaled up to and seeing where I stand in the class.

Ananta: And even though you may not be able to see your grades at all times, like at LFA, it is always important to know where you stand in your classes. Ananta Srivastava, Caxy News.

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Students’ Visibility of Grades at Lake Forest Academy