“Help! Constant Updates on My Son’s Grades are Turning Me Into a Helicopter Mom!” – Letter

Hi Folks — Here’s a totally fascinating topic that I didn’t realize was quite so widespread: The daily, sometimes hourly, online updates about our children’s grades. My sons’ schools both have programs like the one described below, but I don’t have them on my phone so I don’t check them very much.

It seems to be the schools’ assumption, however, that I should. As such, they are demanding a kind of  two-fer: The kid AND parent, as a team. It reminds me of the way “arrival” and “dismissal” morphed into “drop off” and “pick up.” The assumption is that OF COURSE a grown-up will be involved, shepherding the children all the time. Now we’re expected to be shepherding them through their academics the same way. So here’s the question asked by a reader named Aimée Lafrenière Turner who is a Maine native and lives there with her husband, son, and dog in “a teeny-tiny house in the most kid-and-bike-friendly neighborhood ever.” She is a television and web writer-producer and you can follow her on Twitter @AimeeLTurner, or read her blog, The Maine Page Turner, which is featured on WCSH6.com:

Dear Free-Range Kids: Not sure if you’ve touched on this topic.  It’s not about safety, but definitely about over-supervising one’s kids.

My son is now in the 6th grade and his school uses “Infinite Campus,” a tool by which parents (and only the parents, not students, to my knowledge) are given access to information about their children’s homework assignments, grades, etc., all through either a traditional website, or, more dangerously, through an iPhone app.

It is ridiculously convenient to use — it sends me an alert on my iPhone whenever any teacher posts a new grade…. and I’m ALWAYS CHECKING IT.  I’ve NEVER hovered over my son’s grades.  I’ve always felt like his work was HIS (to the point that although he is a bright boy, his grades haven’t been stellar — but my goal is really to teach him to own his own results).

On the positive side, getting prompt reports of some of his lower grades have helped us help him to turn in his homework more promptly, approach teachers to discuss his grades, and to do some extra-credit work to bring up a couple of low quiz grades.  However, on the negative side, I’m feeling obsessed with his grades in a way that I never thought I would. I’ve talked to other mothers who also check it OFTEN.  My husband (who has a different brand of smartphone and so cannot check iPhone nearly as often — correction: he doesn’t check it at all) says I’m obsessing.  However, I’ve caught problems that would have led to C’s on my boy’s report card that he’s been able to improve to B’s by taking action.

I’d be curious to hear from other Free Rangers about their experience with grade pressure in general, and Infinite Campus (or similar kinds of software) specifically. Thanks, Aimee T., in Maine

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Are hourly report cards a good idea?

109 Responses to “Help! Constant Updates on My Son’s Grades are Turning Me Into a Helicopter Mom!” – Letter

  1. derpdedoo November 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    I thought teachers had a hard enough time entering the grades for 30 students per class. How in the name of zod are they entering marks on an hourly basis? Are they even teaching at this point?

  2. Chad November 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    I tend to ignore the emails I get about bad grades UNLESS they are zeros. If the grade as a whole is decent, a low grade is OK. Zeros for not doing the work is not. Plus this gives me the opportunity to ask my children to go and talk with their teacher. Most occasions the teacher has entered incorrect grades.

    As for my home schooler, she got a week behind in school and I am glad for the reports because she has been working weekends to catch up. She says an unscheduled vacation day put her behind 2 weeks ago. Ya right. So she has been missing friends and fun stuff to get back up to speed.

  3. Sandy November 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    I think this is just crazy. I would get rid of the app and go back to doing it the old way. I find out how my kid is doing in school during conferences unless there is something that needs discussing before then. Kids need to be responsible for their own actions. It is not the end of the world if they get a bad grade. Let them manage it themselves. How do we know they won’t find their own way to bring up the grade before report card time. You cannot be there like this for them in college or in the adult world. Let them learn to sink or swim on their own when they are still kids with minor consequences to their actions.

  4. Liz K November 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    While technology has provided you with a problem, it has also provided you a solution: turn off the notifications or delete the app altogether. Then, check his grades via the traditional website together with your son on a more reasonable basis, like once a week. This puts the focus more on HIM and ends the obsession. Frankly, we need to model reasonable technology use for our children and untether ourselves to being constantly “updated.”

  5. pentamom November 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Our district uses Infinite Campus but I only check it now and then (I mean really, once or twice a quarter at the absolute outside.) . Can’t you just disable the phone alerts?

  6. Katie November 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    I don’t have kids of elementary school age, but my goodness how stressful is that! I think things like that can be highly addictive and not in a good way. You need time while your kids are at school to take a break and be you (if that makes sense). Perhaps pick a time and check it once a day or once a week if you want to. You also have to remember many people succeed even though they didn’t do well in school and even more people who did well in school don’t succeed.

  7. Rob November 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    I don’t think this is a good idea at all. My wife is set up with our 8th grader’s school to receive messages about pretty much every assignment. This is not something we had available when our older two (now 21 and 23) were in school.

    I could write paragraphs about this, but I won’t. Suffice to say that this system has turned my non-helicoptering wife into an extreme helicopter in this one area.

    So, no, I do not think it’s necessary for us to have constant access to our kids grades. Having progress reports and report cards every few weeks is plenty, in my opinion.

  8. Kim November 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Our system uses software called Pinnacle. My son has access to it, as do his father and I. His father and I subscribe to different alerts. He gets alerts daily, I get ones where the classroom grade drops to a D. I also log in and check regularly. My son is more obsessive than I am about checking it.

    I must admit, I checked it a lot more when my now 8th grader was in 6th grade. Not sure if I will return to my regular checking when my daugther gets it next year.

    Remember, it is only the 1st quarter in most schools. You will likely back off as the year and years progress.

    Check to see if you can have reminders sent to you, only for certain things.

  9. tellthestories November 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Yes! I’m finding this too. I was NEVER a helicopter parent until my child entered middle school and we were given access to the online gradebook. In-class work, homework, quizzes and tests are all posted.

    To add to the helicoptering…my child is required to log daily physical activity in an online system, and the goal is 60 minutes a day. Her P.E. teacher’s grading on this is based more on the logging than the activity….but I am now supposed to facilitate fitting P.E. homework in too? I can’t think that obsessively logging one’s physical activity is very good for middle school girls’ body image issues, either…

  10. Yan Seiner November 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    My kids’ schools have on-line grading systems. We don’t check them (I never do; maybe my wife does) but my kids check them regularly, as that’s how they get their grades.

    Sometimes the grades are wrong – the system will automatically assign a ‘0’ to an assignment that’s not graded yet or that a teacher is late grading.

    My kids do check, regularly, and will talk to their teachers about bad grades. We never have to.

    Anyway, I’d dump the app. Once you teach your kid you will take care of the “C” and tell him what he needs to do to get a “B” you will have taught him a life lesson he does not need – mom (or authority) will step in and fix things for him. Nope. My kids take care of their grades, sink or swim.

    We talk with them at the end of each semester and review the good, bad, and ugly. But on a day to day basis, kids are best off without parents hovering.

  11. SKL November 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    This is a very relevant topic for me. My kids are in 1st grade and their school has an online grades program.

    Now I always thought I’d be the kind of parent who would say, “school is my kids’ responsibility.” That’s how it was for me as a kid, and I was a high achiever. Then again, it was easy for me. And school was different then. We didn’t have homework until 3rd grade, and we didn’t get letter grades in over a dozen subjects like they do now. The responsibility wasn’t really on the kid (or parent) in 1st grade at all, other than showing up ready to learn and behaving in class.

    Now, I do have one kid who sails through. I look at her grades to feel good, I think. Though there is one subject where she should be doing better, I still don’t say much about it. I know she could up the performance if she wanted to, and she’s not even 6yo yet, so it’s not a battle I choose to fight just yet.

    My other kid, however, has learning issues that mean she needs more persistent guidance and help at home. Being able to see her grades is good insofar as it enables me to target my assistance. But it’s bad when there isn’t much I can do about it. I had to talk myself out of caring how she does on the BS courses like health and social studies, which they shouldn’t be wasting time on in 1st grade anyway IMO.

    I noticed that their teacher usually posts grades on Sunday afternoons, so that’s when I check.

    On the other hand, the teacher grades the work within a day or two, so I get most of it back before she posts the grades. Looking at the grades online just tells me how the averages are looking and whether there’s any consistent trend (usually not, with my kid).

    Oh, and the other good thing about this program is that my kid knows I will see how she did even if she conveniently loses her paper or leaves it in her desk for a month. 😉

    But again, my kids are pretty young and special needs are involved. I intend to wean myself off of the grade stalking as the kids get older. I really think that being able to manage one’s own workload and be accountable is an important skill for kids to learn.

  12. Scott Lazarowitz November 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Don’t just cancel the phone alerts, tell the school to remove your email address from their lists. When I was in school, there was no email, obviously, and there wasn’t any NEED for it! We had grades for papers and tests that we could take home with us and show our parents or not show our parents. They received the report card at the end of each semester, and that was it! No need for the school to have to email parents. (Perhaps I’m just an old fashioned fuddy-duddy stick-in-the-mud, oh well.)

  13. SKL November 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Oh, and the kids are able to check their grades too. I don’t have my kids signed up for that because they are so young. I don’t actually want my special needs girl to worry about the crappy grade she got on her health test. There isn’t anything she can do about it anyway.

  14. Catherine L. November 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    I don’t know, I was disappointed when I found out that our school’s infinite campus doesn’t include grade information. I did HORRIBLY in school and I feel like it negatively impacted my entire life. Even now I am limited in my options and I have little earning potential because I was never made to work as a kid in school. My parents had the hands off approach with me and while it was great in some ways, educationally I feel like I have suffered because of it.

    I am going to be on top of my kids, hovering if you will, when it comes to their academic success. They will NOT make the same mistakes I made.

  15. marie November 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    Our school uses Infinite Campus, too. I REFUSE to set up an account for my husband and me. If teachers need me to be involved, they’d better be emailing or calling me. As it is, teachers can have Infinite Campus send me an email when assignments are missing/late. Many, many times, the assignments are genuinely ‘missing’…as in, the kids handed in the assignment and now it is missing. Or buried on the teacher’s desk.

    I don’t even like the emails about missing assignments but since the school has our email addresses (and because I would rather get an email from the school than a phone call, the school does need my email address), I get the missing assignment notifications. My kids hate it when I get those emails because I start bugging them.

    Teachers have begun assuming that parents will help with homework, and the homework assignments have changed accordingly. More posters, more build-a-something, more check-this kind of assignments where the parents are expected to take part. Drives me crazy. I noticed this particularly in grade school, when the kids came home with homework assignments that said, “Ask your parents…” or “Parents read…” Lazy teachers, is what I think.

    Even in middle school, the orchestra teacher wants parents to sign a weekly practice sheet for the kid–“my child practiced xxx minutes this week.” I think the student should be graded on how he plays his instrument. Encouraging practice habits is an excellent idea but that should be between the student and the teacher. Don’t just dump that responsibility on the parent!

  16. Violet November 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Yes! This is what I was talking about the other day: we are required to hover! We were told to sign the agenda, every day, in elementary school. Then, one teacher at an open house demanded to know why parents were signing agendas when the homework was wrong or incomplete!!!! Huh? It’s my job to make sure it is done and done correctly? I thought it was just for me to check what was going on. I have a friend who signed every week in the agenda book at the beginning of the year. The SADDEST part is our kids get in trouble if the agenda isn’t signed even if they did the work. What if I was a drunken slob who happens to be raising a good student?

  17. Rachel November 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Ten years from having a middle schooler but thinking back to being a kid, I would have LOVED this… but for ME not my parents. I’d probably have turned it into some kind of competition. I’m a geek and actually getting grades back that quickly, in an easy to understand format, would have triggered the video gamer in me.

    Which makes me fear for when my daughter does end up in that kind of system because I’ll likely act similarly and become exactly the problem parent this post is about. Hopefully I’ll be able to restrain myself and we can just have a set time each week to look at it and figure out what needs improvement (is that still helicoptery? I’m not sure I could resist any more than that.)

    It’s better than having no clue until report card time though.

  18. SKL November 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Oh, I have caught some of the teachers’ grading mistakes online. Like the time my kid got 100% on a test but the teacher recorded 0%. I dug the paper out of the garbage, scanned it, and emailed it to the teacher. Call me a helicopter mom if you must! There were other errors I didn’t report because they didn’t matter much. (Now the 711% my kid got last week was interesting. It will be interesting to see how long that stays up there.)

  19. Violet November 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    The other side of this is that there is SO MUCH HOMEWORK that most normal developing children can’t keep it all organized. My kid gets lost from the dining room table to go brush his teeth when the bathroom is six feet away. He is bright but his bookbag is a scary thing to behold. Of course it is a disaster!!! How many pre-teen boys care about keeping the book bags all neat and tidy! So, the Pinnacle helps me do the teachers job for them.

  20. pentamom November 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    I agree it’s useful for catching grading mistakes, but as with others, my kids do that. Mine have only had this for high school, though — I can see where it’s harder to resist stepping in with younger ones.

  21. Warren November 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    The school has questioned me several times for not hooking up with them. Told them simple, I see the tests when they are brought home. I see the assignments when they are graded. I see the report cards.
    Why in the blue hell would I want my phone going off, at work, or wherever about what I already know, or will know?

    I am a firm believer in, if it is important enough that I just have to be informed, do not email it. Talk to me on the phone, or in person. Email is not a form of communication, to translate information needing quick action.

  22. Stephanie November 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    My fifth grader’s teacher has some assignments she expects parents to help with. The kids have had a few assignments where they’re supposed to make a model of something, this latest one being a 3-D model of the brain, a neuron, and the spinal cord. This is the most I’ve ever helped with an assignment, but only because we decided that rather than use clay to make the brain, we sewed one. My daughter’s first time using the sewing machine, and she even cut out some of the parts using my good sewing scissors.

  23. Bob Davis November 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    This is mind-boggling to those of us who did our child-raising back in the 60s and 70s. That was back when “tricorders” (portable data units used on Star Trek) were science fiction. I look at some of today’s i-pads and Smartphones, and think, “I’ll bet NASA put men on the moon with less technology than that.”

  24. Cherub Mamma November 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    We live in an area of the country with HORRIBLE schools. When my son attended brick and mortar the teachers let him get away with murder. He basically did just enough work at the end of every six weeks to get by with C’s (or sometimes even lower) and he was an honors student in the GT classes. Because, even though the assignment was given out during week one and was due that Friday, it wasn’t officially late until the six week grading period was up. They literally do not have conferences down here. And…when I asked the teachers to tell me if he wasn’t doing assignments, or even to just not cut him slack, they blew me off.

    Soooooo….I pulled him home and he’s attending an online high school. Not only do I have access to all of his grades, but I can see absolutely everything he’s doing and not doing all day long. I’m trying like crazy to not helicopter but it isn’t easy.

    Still, we have simple rules. He is grounded if he’s failing. And the ONLY reason my kid is ever failing is because he doesn’t do work or because he races through and…well…doesn’t do his work. He’s also grounded if an assignment is given a zero because he didn’t turn it in on time. Having access to his grades lets me find this out immediately after he chooses to not take a test the day it’s assigned. When the zero goes in, he’s grounded.

    I’m still not paying attention to all the intimate details. But at least now the cherub can’t lie to my face about things like he was doing before and I can consequence him as necessary. Really, it’s his character I’m concerned most about. I know he’s learning what he needs to. He’s an incredibly bright child!!

    So, I guess I’d have to say I’m somewhat in favor of having access to grades online. Yes, they can help parents helicopter unnecessarily. But they can also be a help when you’ve got students like mine.

  25. marie November 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Didn’t finish my sentence:
    “I think the student should be graded on how he plays his instrument” instead of on whether he hands in a signed practice sheet.

  26. Kos November 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    If my parents had this app when I was in school, I would have had a nervous breakdown. They were the type of parents who thought that if I brought home all A’s, then I should be punished for not having all A+’s. If everything was absolutly perfect, then that meant I had time for another activity… which they chose.

    The worst part is, my parents weren’t the worst in the school. I had friends whose parents ramped up the pressure until it was full on abuse – both emotional and physical. Looking back on my school years, all of the good memories I have of talking to my friends, hanging out, pursuing hobbies, dating, or otherwise learning about the world happened in the times between report cards. The two weeks after a report card came were always booked off for my punishment for not being perfect. If our parents could have checked our grades on a daily basis, my classmates and I would have had no autonomy at all.

  27. marie November 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    How many pre-teen boys care about keeping the book bags all neat and tidy!

    I went to school in a time when–gasp!–we didn’t even use backpacks or bookbags. We carried our books, our notebooks, our papers IN OUR ARMS. And that is probably a huge reason why my parents didn’t save every scrap of paper sent home from school…we threw stuff away instead of toting it home.

    On top of carrying our books in our arms, we did it while walking to and from school. Well, not me, because my dad drove us the several miles to school. We country kids were the only ones who were regularly picked up; everyone else got to walk. And further horrors, we country kids got picked up when our parents got there which was after the parents had run their errands. We waited.

  28. Michelle November 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    If I were you, I would uninstall that app. Give your son the login info for the regular website and let him track his own grades. You say that *you* have been able to catch some problems and get bad grades turned around, but shouldn’t that be *his* job? Let him know that if he wants to improve his grades but doesn’t know how, he can ask for your help, but he needs to be taking the initiative here.

  29. Violet November 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Marie, my guess is that lots of little boys didn’t carry anything back and forth! They just left it at school and ran out of the building to go play with their friends!

  30. Yan Seiner November 5, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    @Violet: I always get a chuckle out of people saying that. My kids went to an elementary school (YG) that’s famous for lots of homework (it’s taught in both English and Japanese, and there aren’t enough class hours to fill all the requirements). These kids can have 2-3 hours of homework a night at times. All too often some first grade parents complain, a few very loudly, about the amount of homework.

    But…. My oldest is in high school now, and she can still pick out the kids who went to that elementary school – they’re at the top of the grading sheet.

    The standing joke in the district is that on the first day of middle school while all the other kids are looking confused, the YG kids pull out their tabbed binders, a pencil and a calendar, and ask “What days is the homework due?”

    Back to the topic at hand. We talk to our kids daily about schoolwork, homework, tests, teachers. We talk to them – we don’t check on their grades, we let them tell us what’s going on. That way we get their interpretation of how they’re doing, which is more important that a grade report.

  31. SKL November 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    I have to say I was never punished for a grade. Even the “D” I got in science one quarter (in 5th grade)! I thought I was going to be murdered for that one, LOL.

    My siblings did have varying degrees of problems in school. I can remember my mom being furious because she was never informed that my brother was so far behind in 2nd grade seatwork that he was being recommended to fail. (He is gifted but “some…where…out…there.”) I think that even going back 40 years, parents would have appreciated an occasional update – weekly or monthly – for primary school kids at least.

  32. Amanda Matthews November 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    @Violet “What if I was a drunken slob who happens to be raising a good student?”

    Then the student just signs their parent’s name. That’s what I did.

  33. Anne November 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Ugh my daughter who is.in 6th grade has this. I rarely check the thing, and I get flack from her teacher and principal because I dont use it. All her weekly assignments come home in an envelope that I have to sign. To me that is enough! I am by no means a helicopter parent and wont let them bully me into being one. My daughter at 11 is a quick thinker, problem solver, and has always had decent grades. I’ve never hovered, and I dont envy those worn out parents at every function, event or bake sale. I do what I can with a full time job…and that includes not being available.for hourly updates. Sheesh…buncha bullies they are! I have a life too, and that doesnt make me a bad parent, my kid will be able to stand on her own when she’s older because she has to make her own decisions and suffer the consequences if those are bad ones.

  34. Amanda Matthews November 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    “Marie, my guess is that lots of little boys didn’t carry anything back and forth! ”

    lol I’m not even a boy and I did that. But that was because I had a 4 floor school and we were only allowed to go to our lockers at the beginning and end of the day, and the beginning and end of lunch hour (though going to your locker at the beginning of lunch hour instead of directly to the line pretty much guaranteed you were going to spend 50 minutes in the lunch line) . So basically we were expected to carry 6+ heavy books and 6+ notebooks up and down 4 flights of stairs all day.

    At some point I realized no one was going to steal them; everyone else had one too, and why would they want one anyway? So I just left them each in the class they were for.

  35. Chihiro November 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    My high school has a thing called PowerSchool where you can go in and check your grades (or your kid’s) any time you want. My mother became OBSESSED with this. I got mainly A’s and B’s from grades K-8, I started tanking & got nearly straight C’s my first two years of high school. I attribute it almost completely to my mother’s obsessive hovering over every scrap of paper to cross my path.
    I’m not joking. I would literally come home and get SCREAMED at for assignment A not being entered in yet, or paper B being a low grade because you rewrote it and the rewrite hasn’t been entered in yet. It would go on for several hours, sometimes. (One day it lasted for seven hours straight.)
    Since this is my senior year, I am almost an adult, and no longer live with my mother, she has agreed to stop checking the site every day. (She literally checked every. Single. Day.) Now the site sends updates to her email every week, and every Monday I get called up asking why my AP English grade is a B or something. The problem is that the teachers rarely keep their grades up to date, so while you may have been getting very good grades for a month and a half, if all that’s entered in is two sub-par tests from the first week of school, you’re screwed.
    I hate this site with a passion. It ruined what little relationship I had with my mother, turned my love for learning into a hatred for anything school-related, which I have just recently turned around. It makes me sad that parents and teachers have stopped trying to make learning and education FUN for kids, and made it all about grades.

  36. Aimee November 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Just to clarify matters, this is an accelerated math program (“academically gifted”). He is doing curriculum that is typical for high school freshmen or sophomores, but he is a 6th grader on the youngish side for his grade. So I feel like he really does need additional support because the expectations are considerably higher than normal. He might be able to do math, but he’s 11, in which crumpled papers are the norm, and he still fights me about showering regularly!

    Conferences are coming up in just a couple of weeks. I think we’ll have LOTS to talk about 😉

  37. Molly Wingate November 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    I want to ask the parents who have trouble with current information about their child’s grade how this information has altered their relationships with their children. If this information is messing up your relationship with your child, then stop looking at it. If you can use the information to improve your relationship with your child, then keep looking at it. It isn’t the information that is the problem; it is the parent’s reaction to it and what they do with their reaction.

    When parents are involved with their child’s education, the child does better — but not if the parent is freaking out. Find your own balance. Enjoy your kid.

  38. Lollipoplover November 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Thankfully, we don’t have this at our elementary school. How do teachers get to actually teach when they have to keep updating grades? Who has time for this? It’s like obsessing about the weather- it’s out of your control. Your child controls their grades.

    We get a midterm progress report on paper before the report cards. My kids know if they are ever in need of help getting a grade up, they can come to me for help. The expectation in our household is not for perfection, just to keep grades in the A-B range. It’s interesting that a large percentage of their grade is the classroom work they do- both independently and group assignments. How on earth can a parent control this?! I can make sure they are well rested, properly fed, and prepared but beyond that, the work they do they have only themselves to answer to and get the grade they deserve.

  39. Violet November 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Yan Seiner,

    Doing 2-3 hours of homework a night in elementary school is not a badge of honor. It is sad. Children should be reviewing spelling words and doing a few math problems and that’s it. They need time to play an instrument, play soccer in the street, climb trees, draw, read, daydream, roller blade, help cook and clean up the dishes, take out the garbage, talk to their parents and friends, and even watch TV! A Free Range Parent doesn’t need the school to dictate the evening schedule!

  40. Priscilla November 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Our school uses infinite campus too. However, I rarely check it. I would if I had a child who was lax about assignments or who struggled I guess, but I don’t. I don’t get all of the constant alerts to grades though and ma wondering if there is a setting on your account that you can change.

    This year, my son’s calculus teacher is constantly sending me emails about when there is a test, etc. I simply delete the emails without even opening them. Jeepers, the kid is going off to college next year! I won’t be checking on him while he’s in college, so I’m not doing it now. I have not pestered him about school work in years and I don’t plan on starting now. It is HIS responsibility, not mine.

  41. marie November 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Grrr…. don’t even get me started on those infernal group assignments, Lollipoplover… I hate them, my kids hate them. The only person who seems to like them is the teacher.

  42. Yan Seiner November 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    @Violet: It’s not every day. The other thing is that the kids, by and large, love it – it’s not meaningless drudgery homework, it’s usually fun stuff that’s cool to do.

    Also, we live in an area that has the shortest school year in the country, and that’s shortened by mandatory furlough days (14 at last count). The net result is that elementary school kids here end up with nearly every Friday off, and very short school days, all piled on top of a school year that starts a month later than many other districts and lets out two weeks earlier.

    Even with the homework, the kids can be done with the school day and homework by 3 PM; most days earlier, and Fridays require a couple of hours of homework. An organized kid rarely has weekend homework.

    It just means the kids have to be disciplined and schedule their time.

  43. SKL November 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    I agree that 2-3 hours of homework for a young kid is not so wonderful. While the homework-saddled kids may do a bit better, the margin is not proportional to the number of evening hours forfeited. (There may be exceptions, as with kids who are really, truly, deeply interested in investigating the subject matter that thoroughly.)

    When I went to grad school where the majority of my classmates were Asian, everyone was shocked that I was more competent than most despite the fact that I put in far fewer hours of academic drudgery and had free-range parents growing up. There was only one classmate who had a higher GMAT score than I had. And, I aced classes like Operations Management because I had hands-on blue-collar work experience (scandalous!).

  44. greg November 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    I first started looking at my oldest daughter’s online grades toward the end of her 4th grade year. I actually found that the math grade was wrong as the teacher had weighted the grades incorrectly in the computer compared to what she said. I guess that changed the grade for some kids. I probably talked to my daughter too much about it in 5th grade. So now I don’t really say anything even the good news I see before I see the actually paper. I let them think I was surprised.

    My daughter makes As. We have a deal in our family. If you truly do your best nothing will be said about your grades, but trust us we know your best. For 6th grade school is a non-issue at the moment for us being parents. We don’t have to help with homework or studying. We just ask if you have homework and if it is done.

    We have raised our daughter to be independent and she is doing well so far.

  45. SKL November 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Yan, after reading your more recent post, that sounds much better!

  46. Yan Seiner November 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    @SKL: Yeah, I realized I used “2-3 hours a night” rather than “2-3 hours a day”. Bad choice of words on my part. I can probably count on my fingers the number of nights that my kids had significant amount of homework in elementary school.

    But the homework consists of things like “put together a picture report on Japanese swords” which is what my son did. He surfed the web, printed out a bunch of pictures, watched a TV show on how to make Japanese swords, and then had to write the descriptions in Japanese. Other kids did reports on their favorite manga characters and so on. So watching TV cartoons and writing descriptions of the characters is “homework”.

  47. Earth.W November 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    I don’t feel the need to be in constant communication with my kids schools. They annoy me enough as it is needing the silliest of incident reports every time a child gets the slightest scratch.

  48. Jennifer November 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Lenore, your eagerness to blame the schools for everything is getting tiresome and seems to run counter to your message. If you’re trying to get parents to let their children have more freedoms and take more responsibility, shouldn’t parents be taking some responsibility, too? If the updates aren’t necessary for you and your child, be an adult and turn them off. Don’t blame the school because you can’t control yourself. Schools use these programs as a way to facilitate communication between home and school, which benefits everyone, including both holicopter and free-range parents. It isn’t the school’s responsibility to tell you how to use a computer program.

  49. Craig November 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    We have a similar tool here and it is helpful… but the students MOST definitely have access. Our kids check their grades more than we do.

    Being as grades in 6th grade matter little, I would try to let your student pass or fail on his own as much as possible… maybe he will learn to study and get good marks now,when it doesn’t count, so he can do it on his/her own WHEN IT DOES.

  50. Julie C November 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Our schools use School Loop. It is for both parent and kid, and as a parent you can choose how often to get an update.

    I like having the chance to see how they are doing, especially since my older son “surprised” me a few times during his first year of high school when actual grades came out and he genuinely believed he had done better than he actually did.

    It lists all the assignments coming up, and for my boys, helps them plan out their future assignments.

  51. Suzanne November 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Like with most things, I think there is a balance here that the writer may be missing. My daughters teacher maintains a short blog where he writes a few lines each day about what was up in class and what may be in the students bag for homework. I think this is a great window into her classroom and helps me in my discussions with my daughter on her day at school. She also has a paper agenda book where she is suppose to write down her homework each day. Between the two I feel well informed about her day at school. and I can’t see a benefit to having even more information available to me.

  52. Warren November 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    Here is a thought. I know this may be a little new wave, and kinda out there, but hang in there.

    I know you all will think that this is just to revolutionary to actually be of any use, but here goes.

    If you want to know about your kids day, or school, or how they are feeling, don’t use an app, don’t read a blog, don’t read an email. ASK THEM.

    @ Jennifer
    The problem is when the school starts up these programs, they rely on them, and expect you to constantly monitor them. As seen by the commentors who are questioned, or chastised by the school for not using them.

    This is just another way of society taking personal interaction out of their everyday lives. Want to know about your own kid, get an app.

  53. steve November 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    School administrators and teachers are AFRAID to hold THE STUDENT responsible for his/her academic progress.

    There is an absence of boundaries in our culture.

    Just because you CAN stay in touch with everyone all the time (with cellphones) doesn’t mean you should.

    Just because you CAN carry a plastic bottle of water doesn’t mean you should.

    Just because you CAN keep parents updated everyday about homework and grades doesn’t mean you should.

    Question:
    Should students and staff be required to wear monitors that let everyone know at all times how hungry they are, or how full their bladders are?

  54. Christy November 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    I can see both sides of this. We just moved out of a district with little to no parent involvement into a district with complete parent involvement, and the differences are staggering. That being said, I’d hate to have to monitor grade-work. If there’s something wrong with the way my children are learning, I’d want to get an early heads up, but if it’s about studying, they’re on their own.

    It’s too bad they don’t have an app for trending behavior changes; that’d be more useful to gauge issues that need parental intervention.

  55. socalledauthor November 5, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    As a teacher myself, I can’t image the pressure of keeping all grades “up to date.” I’m not sure what purpose it serves, other than pandering to certain parents– assuming that grades are entered in an otherwise timely fashion. Previous posters have noted grade errors, which I think are more likely in a high-pressure environment where grades must be entered within whatever time frame required. Working quickly is not the hallmark of careful record keeping. (Of course, there can always be errors, as teachers are people too. =)

    Wonder how much of this is related to some of the current sentiment that teachers “only” work a 6 hour day and therefore have plenty of time to grade “today.” But, I am a bit biased as a teacher (though non-union.)

  56. Jenna November 5, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    We have this available to us but I’m old-fashioned and don’t even have a smart phone. I can check the grades online, but I hardly ever do unless something comes along in the homework (which I go through with them thoroughly to check for understanding) that signifies there might be a problem. Then I go in and check the grades. I think that grades, once they are in upper elementary and higher, are the child’s responsibility. They learn from getting bad grades how it feels to not do well and can contrast that with getting good grades. That can be motivation right there to do well in school and try harder. I do like to go over homework to make sure they understand what is being taught and if not, then I help them address the problem. It makes it easier though, that I don’t even have access to the app our school uses because I don’t have a phone that I can use it with.

  57. AW13 November 6, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    We had Infinite Campus when I was a teacher. I always suspected it was more so that the administrators could make sure that the teachers were keeping their grades up to date. I updated weekly, and I rarely had any issues. If there was a problem, I’d just call the parent. And it was usually the students who kept tabs on their grades and would ask me about incorrect grades.

    But as far as not allowing the students to take responsibility: one of the biggest struggles we had in that district was an administrator who allowed an entire semester to turn in late work and forced the teachers to give them at least half credit. (So a kid could turn in an assignment from September during semester 1 finals in January, and the teacher was supposed to give them a minimum of half credit.) Teachers were also chastised for giving out zeros on assignments. When these kids got to the high school, they had all kinds of trouble adjusting to the fact that they could, in fact, fail a class, and that teachers would not accept late homework or projects past a certain date. It was awful.

  58. Violet November 6, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    I don’t agree with zeros because the punishment is disproportionate to the crime. I am all for dinging the kid for not turning work in, but every stupid homework assignment is NOT worth the same weight as a test. I find that the best teachers assign a homework grade for the quarter that fairly reflects whether the child is doing his work.

  59. Sky November 6, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    It’s just a technology difference. In the free range early 80’s, when I was free to ride my bike to the strip mall and buy candy with my allowance money, my parents STILL looked at the homework and tests that were sent home daily or weekly. Sometimes they were required to sign the tests. If I got too low a score, they let me know it was unacceptable and that I better make some improvements. If I said I couldn’t do it on my own (which wasn’t often), they helped me. I never considered it hovering. I do the same thing with my kids papers (we have no online system – it comes home in a physical “daily folder”) and don’t consider it hovering. Technology just makes this easier and more immediate and online instead of in print. The part that is helcoptering isn’t checking test grades and saying – hey! Bring these up, kid! It’s the part where you contact the teachers and ask them to give your kid extra credit assignments instead of just letting him suffer the bad grade he earned (and possibly taking away some privilege he actually cares about for getting poor grades if he simply got them from lack of effort and if he doesn’t care about the poor grades themselves).
    At a young age, kids need parental governance in these matters. By high school, they should be at the point where they can decide for themselves if and when they need help and be relied upon to request it if and when needed, and quarterly grades should be sufficient reporting to parents. But earlier, it’s part of the “training” process to have parents look at tests and homework and ensure the kid gets extra help as needed.

  60. Surani November 6, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    I would like to offer my perspective as a classroom teacher.

    First, I agree with the people that said TURN THOSE UPDATES OFF! No one needs to get a barrage of hourly information like that. I see no reason why any parent should ever need to check grades more than once every 1-2 weeks. You check if a baby in a crib is alive less often than that!

    Secondly, it is a bit upsetting to hear some people talk about how schools/teachers are being lazy in expecting parents to do their part. In a climate where we are held accountable for our students’ achievements, the truth is that we are your child’s teacher for 5 hours a week (in middle/high school) and you are their parent for 168 hours in the week. We simply cannot do what we need to without your support.

    In talking with other teachers whom I respect, I would like to offer my own limited opinion of what a truly hard-working dedicated teacher would expect from a parent:

    1) If we call/email you (many people prefer email in 2012) about disruptive and disrespectful behavior in the classroom, come down on it HARD and IMMEDIATELY. This is character learning which is even more important than school subjects. Be respectful, and allow others to learn.

    2) Check your child’s grades periodically (1-2 times a month tops!) and hold them to expectations of a C minimum. Apart from learning difficulties, EVERYONE can earn a C in any K-12 class. (A D average is a shaky foundation for later learning.)

    3) If they drop to a D/F come up with *meaningful* consequences if they don’t take action and *enforce* them. I don’t expect you to get your kid to always learn, but please take the cell phone or car or sports or weekend privileges away until they start putting in extraordinary effort (which is what’s needed when you’ve dug yourself into a hole). Don’t punish them for the grade; only punish them if they’re not putting in *effort* to raise it. They should be either doing extra practice at home or tutoring with their teacher or someone else. If they’re working extra-hard just praise them – they’ll get there eventually.

    If parents could do these 3 things, we teachers at the middle/high school levels can – and are happy to – do the rest. That goes for 98% of the teachers I know.

    ~ Surani

    P.S. The cherry on top would be: Ask your kids to tell you and explain to you what they’re learning over dinner, etc.

  61. Lori Brown November 6, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    Our district uses Home Logic, which we are FORCED to use – it’s the only way to get a report card now. Since we didn’t have it when my kids started school, it’s pretty easy for me to ignore it until progress report and report card time. Even then, I would forget to check if the school didn’t email reminders constantly to check it. I would much rather have the old-fashioned paper report card.

  62. Donna November 6, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    Boy, sometimes I’m glad I reside in 1985 (aka American Samoa). No daily grade emails. We don’t even get grades in our elementary school. A simple meets expectations, exceeds expectations or needs more work is all you really need at that age.

  63. ShadowL November 6, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    I have 2 kids in high school and most of the time I will get an email from a teacher if they have a concern over one of their grades, just a heads up if it looks like they will get a d or below. But there is 1 English teacher, who scolds the PARENTS in every email she sends about how she shouldn’t HAVE to eb sending e-mails out and hat it is our job as PARENTS to check the Skyward (grade posting system our school uses) to make sure our kids are up to date on assignments…
    High school.
    My older son had her and not only is she a crappy teacher (I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt but I have seen her lesson plans and handouts and tests and they don’t match), This is the second child I have had in her class and 3 years later, she is STILL DOING IT despite my not only talking to her about it but talking to my kids guidance counselor about it.

    She needs to stop treating parents like un-involved idiots, and stop trying to force us to hover over our young adults. I agree with letting my kids take responsibility for their own grades and this teacher just does not get it.

  64. Emily November 6, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    What about families that don’t have Internet access at home?

  65. SKL November 6, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    My kids’ teacher emails me if something bad is happening, but that is only because I first emailed her about something. Actually a look at our online grade site triggered it – my kid had “missing assignments” and I wanted to make sure she had done them or would do them before too much time passed.

    Unfortunately, even though she had my email address, the teacher chose not to inform me of some problems (behavior and attention) until they got really bad. A lot of good it does me now to tell my that my 6yo kid did X ten days ago. (And brow-beating me about it does not help, either.) I begged her to tell me right away of any more problems, and she hasn’t told me anything since then. Wednesday is our parent-teacher meeting and I wonder if I’m going to get an earful of saved-up complaints.

  66. Marie November 6, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    On the teacher end, I loathe this system because the helicopter parents are stalking the online grade book and every error I ever make gets caught (even the ones that I would easily correct myself) and there is a lot of pressure to input grades in rapid-fire succession so the parents are up to date RIGHT NOW about how the kids are doing. It limits my ability to manage my time wisely because I’m pressured into entering grades immediately. It also means more parent-teacher interactions rather than student-teacher interactions (email… oof). I wish we could set the thing on a 24 hour delay so that grades wouldn’t show up until 24 hours after entering so there would be a cushion for me to double-check. It also sends out attendance notices to parents, and maybe that’s more useful if you have an older student with trouble getting to class (on time or at all) but perhaps we could instead have smaller classes and schools so students didn’t get lost and administrators overwhelmed with contacting parents who need it. I see its value but so few students are actually getting into trouble that I’m not sure it’s worth letting so many parents get over-involved (or students!).

  67. DJ November 6, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    It’s called “Family Engagement” and it has a two fold purpose. One is to get parents involved in their child’s education. The other is to document things so that when the parent comes up screaming about the fact that their child is failing a subject, the teacher can show that they have been informing the parent all along.

    I do use our on-line grade system with my children so that they can see if assignments are missing, grades are wrong, and even how a good or bad grade changes their average. I do not sign up for any alerts. I would drive myself crazy!

  68. Emily November 6, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    I agree with Chihiro and Kos. When I was in high school, I was mostly a good student, except for math. My dad became fanatical over this, only he was really bad at teaching math, because he was really GOOD at math, and he didn’t understand how anyone else couldn’t understand it. So, he’d force me to sit and do and re-do my math homework, often going over mistakes I’d made previously, for hours on end. Needless to say, I hated math, and I haven’t voluntarily done any math since grade eleven. He managed to “helicopter” me without the ability to monitor my grades online (or via iPhone, which weren’t yet invented at the time) with GPS-like precision. Anyway, by contrast, my parents were relatively hands-off about my other subjects, I got pretty much A’s and B’s in everything else, and I now have two university degrees in music. I wasn’t stupid, I wasn’t lazy, I just was (and still am) very right-brained.

  69. CyndiJan November 6, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    I’m going to bring up what may be a touchy subject, but it’s what I think is the root of the app’s existence in the first place – standardized tests.

    The more that teachers, administrators, and yes, whole school systems, are held accountable for their students’ test scores and performance in general, the more those teachers and administrators are going to do EVERY possible thing to get those test scores and grades up. If that means bugging parents about their kids’ grades every hour, that’s what it’s going to come down to.

    Already responsible parents find themselves becoming helicopter parents because schools ask them over and over again to check their kids’ work and sign their behavior charts, and we do so willingly. But an app like this isn’t really meant for those parents – these notifications are for the parents that don’t show up for parent-teacher conferences or don’t respond to e-mails and phone calls, or who even *defend* their kids’ failing grades. (My husband is in his 14th year of teaching 8th grade and has witnessed all of these scenarios, the last having happened too many times to count.)

    When we stop putting such great emphasis on testing and put more on teaching our kids to think critically and be responsible (Free-Range Teaching?) is when we’re going to see a change in the very hard push that is being put on parents by schools right now.

    And don’t think that the teachers are being slack, handing all of the hard work to the parents. They are also being driven extremely hard to meet all of the standards and rules being placed on them, and now many of their jobs rely on how their students do on these tests. What happened to kids being accountable for their grades, rather than the teachers?

    Back to the matter at hand, we have a similar grading system called ProgressBook, and I’m grateful for it when I want to check up on my son’s grades. But I would be really hesitant to have an app on my phone. If you are aware that it is making you become a helicopter parent, and your child seems to be doing okay in school, turn it off and check the website weekly, if that.

  70. JanaD November 6, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    What a challenge! I do enjoy the easy access to grades. For my HS aged son, it’s nice to be able to glace at it to determine whether his grades are at a certain level if he wants to do something on a school night. It also enables him to access his grades easier and assess need for extra credit work.

    Where it’s frustrating is that formal reporting mechanisms are becoming the only means of viewing my child’s grades. Tests no longer are returned so that we can review the results together and determine what impacted his grade. For example, does he seem rushed at the end? Did he omit a page? Is he miserable at true / false?

  71. ifsogirl November 6, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    Emily I feel your pain, I was terrible at math and my mother worked in the Data center for the bank. But I’m shocked at how much schools elsewhere involve parents. My kids teachers each send out a once a month email detailing what the class did that month. The school does a monthly newsletter as well. That’s pretty much it.

  72. Azadeh November 6, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Although this is the fact that ss parents we want everything to go well for our children, but avoid becoming a helicopter mom! Child’s homework and grades belongs to them and parents should not take on the responsibility for their homework or exam.

  73. hineata November 6, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Thanks for this timely reminder that grades are the kid’s responsibility! It’s the worst thing about being married to an Asian, actually, the well-meant comments (from other family, my husband couldn’t really give a hoot) about how my child is failing because he usually only manages B grades, and why aren’t I pushing him harder, why didn’t I get him tuition when he was younger, yada, yada, yada. And actually I do find myself feeling guilty sometimes, because I was an ‘A’ student.

    So I asked my mother just recently what she did to ensure I got As. Her answer was: absolutely nothing! My marks were good because I wanted them to be – she was happy if I passed……

    I just need to remember – his responsibiltiy, his responsibility, HIS responsibility!

  74. gap.runner November 6, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Like Donna, I also live in a country where grades are not posted online for all to see (Germany). In fact, there is very little parental involvement in the schools. The classroom is the teacher’s domain. If a parent needs to speak with a teacher, he/she does so during that teacher’s conference period or during the twice-yearly parent-teacher nights. I know how my son is doing in his classes because parents are required to sign all tests and quizzes. I also keep the test and quiz grades on an Excel spreadsheet on my computer, more for my memory than to hound the teachers about any mistakes. The school also issues progress reports in December and May, along with the regular report cards in February and at the end of the year (late July/early August). Kids in German secondary school are also graded on class participation, neatness of their notebooks, and how well they pay attention in class. Those intangibles don’t show up on a quiz or test score, but they also make up part of the grade.

    I may be old-fashioned, but I believe that a child’s school work is his reponsibility. A parent doing a child’s homework for him is wrong on so many levels. However, a parent can be there for assistance. For example, a parent can quiz a child on material or show him an alternate way to solve a complex math or physics problem. But it is the child who has to take the tests and earn the grades, not the parent.

    The American school on the base where I work has a program where parents can log in to see their children’s grades. One of my co-workers, who has a child in that school, is constantly logging in and telling everyone about her kid’s grades. If her child got a low grade on something, it was obviously an unfair mark. She would run to the teacher and complain. As the old saying goes, sometimes ignorance is bliss.

  75. AW13 November 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    @Violet: I agree that one homework assignment should not carry the weight of one test. However, for some subjects, practice is essential to learning the concepts. So for these, homework is important and should be treated as such.

  76. Christi November 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Just to add a teacher-eye-view of some of the ridiculousness involved in IC (Infinite Campus)

    In the internal workings of the system, grades are calculated by a series of “points”, usually determined by the school (I’m describing how the process worked at the High School where I taught… it may vary in places)

    Teachers were “alloted” 2,500 points per quarter. 450 of these points were “daily tasks”. 5 points a day for HW, 1 point for the “do now”, 1 point for the “exit ticket”, 3 points for participation/other. The other points were for classwork, quizzes, tests, exams, etc and were usually decided across grade levels (10 points for a spelling test, 25 for a chapter test, 50 for a unit test, etc). These were entered into the computer program,and the program calculated it into percentages and all that the parents and administrators could see. That meant that, on a daily basis, teachers were expected to be entering AT LEAST 4 values per student (HW, DN, ET, CP) for each of over 75 students. (Gee… how could small mistakes possibly happen) during the 45 minutes of free time they had per day for grading, planning and entering grades. There was usually at least one other value per day (class work, a test, etc) so lets say 5 per day for 75 students (at a minimum). So that would be 8 entries per minute during the free period if the teacher did NOTHING else during the free time.

    For people who are saying it wouldn’t be fair to give a zero for a missed HW or assignment because it is out of proportion, the 0 is averaged in IN proportion to the importance of a task. Didn’t hand in your do-now and got a zero? That is 1 point out of 2500. Skipped a HW? 5 points out of 2500. For small scale offenders, it’s very reasonable.

    Of course, a teacher can save it all up to do over the weekend… who wouldn’t want to spend Sunday in front of their computer putting in some 2,000 grades a week?

  77. NJ Mom November 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Hi–Sorry, I didn’t read too many of the comments and may repeat what’s been said, but…our district has Infinite Campus as well. When it first arrived I was pretty irritated by the whole thing because I felt that it meant the school was telling ME to begin to hyper hover over our children’s grades–which I didn’t want to do.

    But then I had a stern talk with my self. “Self,” I said, “The daily business of grades belongs to my children and their teachers. Our family rule about grades is to be respectful and responsible about school work and get reasonable grades at the end of each marking period based on your natural ability in each subject. (Other families will have other rules.) Therefore Infinite Campus is a TOOL FOR THE CHILDREN and not for me.”

    And so, I regained my confidence about parenting (for the nth time…it’s tough these days, that’s for sure) and promptly put out of my mind how to even get on Infinite Campus, much less the zillionth password I am supposed to remember. :)

  78. Warren November 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    @ Violet
    You don’t believe in zero’s? Some things are not as important as others?

    Sorry, but what kind of lesson is that to teach you child?

    A zero is not a punishment, it is an accurate value assigned to a corresponding amount of effort and or accuracy. It is simple math. Zero correct=Zero. Zero work handed in=Zero.
    I struggle to understand why parents think that their kids should not ever get a zero. There are zero’s in the real world, so why not school?

  79. Andy November 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    @Warren To be devils advocate, some homeworks are not as important as others. Spelling practice, difficult math exercises and so on are important. Those things that make you learn something about science, history or geography are important.

    On the other hand, busywork like easy math exercises you already-make-fast-and-without-mistakes, dioramas, cut and glue random pictures and so on are less important.

    The older I was, the more I used my own judgement if I knew that those things are going to be unchecked.

    The test is the ultimate test anyway. If I skipped on some of that work and it was useful, I would have less points on test (cause I learned less). If I skipped on some of these things and I have full score, I was right thinking I did not needed those exercises.

    Actually, as the the deadline approach and new unexpected demands pile up in the real work I have now, knowing what is important, what can be postponed and what can be skipped is what makes difference between success and failure.

  80. Emily November 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Oh yeah–to all the people here who’ve suggested “checking the websites on a more reasonable basis, such as weekly,” that still would have been more than “normal” when I was in school. We had interim report cards, midterm report cards, and final report cards each semester, and that was it. The “weekly” line stood out to me, because I remember reading, years ago, in a teenage magazine, a letter a girl wrote asking for advice. She said, “I do so badly in school that my teachers send home weekly report cards about me to my parents.” So, when I was in high school in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, weekly reports were just for “high-need” students. Some students at my high school were put on a “tracker” system, which was a paper log they’d pick up at the office each day, with a box for each of their classes. The teachers would then sign off that the student attended class, sign off on the homework assignment that the student wrote down (or, write it down if the student did it), and then the student would take the tracker home, and the parent would sign it after the homework was completed. Finally, the student would return the completed tracker to school in the morning, and get a new one.

    HOWEVER, the “tracker” system wasn’t done for most students; it was used as either a punishment for students who slacked off, or a “helpful tool” for students who were legitimately having trouble. Technically, students could request for themselves to be put on a tracker, but that never happened. Anyway, despite my struggles with math, I was never put on a tracker, because I didn’t need it. I had my dad (who probably did more harm than good), my mom (who was just as clueless as I was, but she’d get me to understand by getting me to explain what I *did* understand), a math tutor (who also happened to be a clarinetist, like me), and I wrote math tests in the Resource Room, with extra time allotted. With those provisions in place, I BARELY made it through grade eleven math, which was one year more than was required by the school, but it was a compromise for our family, because my parents originally wanted me to take math all the way through OAC.

    Finally, the school did have an automated phone system that’d call a student’s home and leave a message if a student had an unexcused absence from any class, but for one thing, it frequently either didn’t call if you skipped, or it gave false positives. For example, one time, when I was in grade nine, it called ALL the grade nine students’ homes with the “absentee message” when it was just supposed to remind us about the United Way charity drive. Luckily, my mother believed me when I told her I’d gone to all my classes that day. The other fatal flaw with this system was, after about the first time, students would figure it out, and would simply delete the messages…..and often, it didn’t even take one time–I remember telling my brother how to get around it when I was in grade twelve, and he’d just started grade nine. Also, it wasn’t specific–it didn’t say “This is a message to let you know that Sam Smith was absent from math class,” it’d say, “This is a message to let you know that a student in grade X was absent from Y period.” So, it was absolutely useless for parents of twins (and I knew three sets of twins), or any set-up where there might be two kids in the same family in the same grade, and it still required parents to know what class their kid had in “Y period,” because it’d help them to identify patterns–for example, a student repeatedly skipping math because she was bad at it, or a student skipping gym because he was being bullied, or whatever. I wasn’t a serial truant, but I did take the occasional “mental health break.” I did the same thing in university (with the obvious exception of private lessons, and rehearsals, which would require my presence), but the only difference was, nobody criminalized me for it there, and I still did just fine.

  81. Andy November 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    My parents knew about all my grades the day I was given that grade. My parents used to ask what happened in the school. If I was given a grade, I would tell them.

    Every kid in elementary had special book where the teacher wrote the grade and parents could check it. So if they would not trust me, they could check that book (it never happened, but I was always telling the truth anyway).

  82. Virginia November 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    I see both the good and the bad in these systems. My son’s high school uses one called “School Loop,” and he likes it because he’s able to check his homework assignments. Parents can sign up to get daily e-mails summarizing all the student’s grades. (Thank goodness we don’t get multiple alerts per day!) For the first year or so, my husband kept checking the e-mail right before bedtime and then getting really upset if he saw a problem. I finally convinced him that right before bed was simply the wrong time to check the damn e-mail!

    Now he’s better about looking at it earlier in the day so that he can bring up any issues with our son at a reasonable hour. I look at it every few days, but because my spouse is still kind of obsessed with it, I’ve chosen to be a little more hands-off. Overall I think it’s a good tool, but parents definitely need to be self-disciplined in how they use it.

  83. Althea November 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    I have two daughters in a high school that uses Infinite Campus. The older one is an overachiever, and the younger one has some learning disabilities. I don’t ever log on to the older kid’s account, but I will confess to checking the younger one’s grades ALL THE TIME. I don’t have a Smart Phone, so this has to be done the tedious old-fashioned way, at the desktop computer. I wish I hadn’t gotten into the habit of obsessing over Younger Daughter’s grades when she was in middle school, but it’s a bad habit and the stakes are higher now, so I helicopter it up. I’m just grateful we didn’t have this at the elementary school level.

  84. Lisa November 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Hmmm. I downloaded that Infinite Campus app but never registered. Now I’m thinking I should delete it!

  85. Diane S. November 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    My husband signed up for alerts when our youngest was in public HS.. mainly to make sure she got to classes as she was supposed to. Any late to class, he’d know about, or a skipped class. As far as grades, they also did a running tally of the score, but only time we paid attention to that was when during a group project, they got a 70 on it – due to 3 of the 4 kids NOT doing their part. I seriously dislike group project grades where the whole group gets the same grade.

  86. Jenne November 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Online grade and homework systems are great for letting students and parents make sure the kid is doing what they are supposed to in terms of homework, and catching problems when they are happening. Our kid is horrible about remembering homework, so we check– and send her to check– the online course system regularly. My mom used to regularly rifle my bookbag to find out the same thing.

    If you are getting too many updates, turn off the updates, I say. All kinds of technology easily becomes the focus of obsessive behavior, like fantasy football leagues, checking email or playing an online game. If your kid is doing alright, I say remind yourself checking his/her grades is no better than obsessively checking political polls.

  87. Brian November 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    These are also great systems when 2 parents work full time. If your kid is walking to school and home by him/herself this is a way to get updates without having to be at the school during working hours.

    Our son is in nursery school and already we have had to have several conversations with his teacher that if she wants to communicate with us she needs to email or call. We are not picking him up or dropping him off. Wish we were rich enough to have one of us home but we are not.

  88. elisabeth November 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    An interesting phenomenon of the transparency and early-engagement of parents when there are low marks or missing assignments on report cards is that I think it adds to the disparity in outcomes between kids whose parents are engaged and technologically connected and those whose parents aren’t/can’t be.

    As Aimee T. mentions in her original letter, she’s catching things, bringing them to her son’s attention, and as a result, his grades are higher than they would have been if she hadn’t. I KNOW she’s not alone in this pattern. Due to the availability of this information to parents, the average grades of students whose parents get this information and use it are likely higher than the grades of students whose parents don’t.

    So this leads to an interesting predicament for those of us who think this kind of involvement with our children’s academic performance is not very FRK and borders on the obsessive-compulsive. If we don’t get involved the way we know many other hover-types do, our own kid’s grades are likely to be lower than the average. This has some serious real-world outcomes for them; most significantly, their ability to compete for college admissions reduced. Unlike with other free-range actions we can take, e.g., sending them out to the park by themselves when they’re 8, this one can actually hurt them in the long run, not make them better off. Unless we find a way to take a stand against these kinds of systems and schools promoting parents over-engagement in students’ performance, we’re kind of in a pickle.

    And then there is the social justice aspect of this. I mentioned before the divide between those who can engage in this behavior and those who really don’t have that option. These kinds of systems with their nifty bells, whistles, and missing homework alarms do not really address the reality of the technology gap in our communities. And that is another reason I think we need speak up when our schools suggest that we check the online grades everyday, receive alerts, reach out to teachers.

    I’m not saying we should disengage completely, but we, as members of the FRK movement, should ask ourselves before we send that email to the teacher, dig through the backpack for the missing worksheet, or tell our kid to start rewriting that essay (and yes, I’ve done all of these things myself), “what is going to be best for my kid and her character (i.e., grit, determination, resiliency…all those great non-cognitive skills that research shows show are important and that I believe FRKs have in spades) in the long run?”

    My guess is that more often than not the answer should be “Let her figure this out herself and roll with the consequences.” The fact that she knows that her parents do have access to the information if they want it may help motivate her to make good choices anyway, without our always having to step in to make the choices for her.

    Sincerely,
    One who could probably do better on this issue herself!

  89. Nicole November 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    We just got a new, fancy web site this year that’s supposed to show grades too, but I haven’t seen any on it yet.

    I also haven’t complained, as the paper report came home just fine. I don’t want to obsess over every quiz. – One bad grade is not a crisis, just a bad day; that’s why they average them. And I think it’s a lot of unnecessary pressure on the teachers.

    But I do like that homework assignments are (mostly)posted. My son was able to keep up with some reading when he was home sick, so it wasn’t as bad to catch up when he returned.

  90. Warren November 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    All this talk about homework assignments, and keeping track of them. My kid comes through the door, first….hey how are ya………second……..you got any homework?
    Been that way for years, and it works just fine.

    Why in the hell should a parent be told by a teacher, that homework is assigned? They should be telling the kid.

    Sorry, I have already done 18 years of school……..it’s their turn now.

    One of the greatest quotes ever spoken in a school. Grade 13 English teacher, on the first day of class….” I am not here to deprive you of the right to fail my class.”.

  91. Andy November 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    @Elisabeth “If we don’t get involved the way we know many other hover-types do, our own kid’s grades are likely to be lower than the average.”

    I do not think that it will make such a huge difference on average kid. First, learning comes easy for some kids, hard for others and no amount of hovering can change that.

    Second, elementary school grades do not go into university application. There is a long way to go and few bad grades soon may have great learning impact with not university level consequences. Having bad grade for not studying in young age can help you understand procrastination consequences much better then endless parental talks and hovering. Such experience can actually help disorganized kid to start trying.

    If you value education, the chances are that the kid will value education too, whether you hover or not. Not hovering and freerange does not mean bad grades, it simply means that more responsibility is put on the kid. You can value the school, generally know what is going on and not to hover.

    The turn from good grades into bad and back means that there was some real problem going on and that they solved it. Not all kids run into such problems and if they do, it is a good thing when it is solved – for everybody. It is not zero sum game. The less frustrated drop outs in the next generation, the better for your kid.

    Maybe the kid was behind in something and needed tutoring. Maybe there was motivation crisis and maybe he was not ready for the responsibility yet.

    Still, not each kid run into big problem it can not solve for itself. If it does, you would learn about it from the teacher in one of those conferences. You would have a bit of delay, but I do not think few weeks matter in long term.

    “And then there is the social justice aspect of this. I mentioned before the divide between those who can engage in this behavior and those who really don’t have that option. ”

    If parents want, they know what is going on in school even without those systems. They will not know instantly, but they still can ask their kids when those come home. The access to the system will not turn the parent who does not put value into school into school obsessed one.

    Most parents have some sort of idea about kids personality. Some kids are naturally organized and dependable some are not. Parents can sort of guess whether the kid is likely to do homework or not. They will check more on irresponsible one even without electronic system in place.

    There will be difference between parent who cares and a parent who does not, but that one is here to stay forever.

  92. elisabeth November 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    @Andy.

    Who said we were just talking about elementary grades? And I’m sort of disturbed to hear that these complicated grading systems are being employed at the elementary level. Our own school district uses them at middle and high school only.

    I value the transparency into the grading system and our own kid’s progress that these systems can provide — both to us, as parents, and to our kids. (If the systems don’t provide kids direct access then I think there is REALLY something wrong, at least at the middle and HS levels.)

    What we do with the information is the biggest issue. The key point I was making is that if these systems do allow parents to become hyper-involved in managing their kids grades, then you can damn well bet that there will be many parents who do with them exactly what Aimee T. has done and beyond. They will micromanage their kids progress to the point that every missed assignment gets done and every poor or mediocre performance is redone, and — voila! — the kid will get a better grade in the course than he would have done without that parent intervention.

    That fact will, indeed, push up the mean performance of kids in the class (unless the teacher grades on a curve, and do any of them do that anymore). Kids whose parents do not involve themselves in overseeing their child’s progress will tend to have lower grades on average. This could be empirically tested, but I feel pretty confident as a former teacher and an education researcher that this is what you’ll see happen in districts where such parent-alert systems are available.

    I agree with you that some kids can really benefit from parent involvement in learning how to manage their coursework and workload. My oldest kid is really struggling with this right now and I am relying on the online grades to see how she’s doing with implementing the organization skills she’s learning. I am trying not to use it in a way that makes her dependent and less likely to take responsibility for her own behavior. It’s a difficult balance to strike.

    I stand by my assertion that we, as free-range parents, need to be thoughtful about the impact we’re having on our kids and our community before we act in response to the information that is now so easily available.

    Best,
    elisabeth

  93. Andy November 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    @elisabeth “Who said we were just talking about elementary grades?”

    No one, I assumed. High school student rarely need parents to help them keep track of homework deadlines. Write it down when assigned and check on tomorrows or next week homework should be routine by then. They also have good idea about where they stand (whether it is going to be A or D in the end).

    The whole discussion sounded to me like a discussion about elementary school old children, especially the “help him to see what is going on” bits.

    “They will micromanage … missed assignment gets done and every poor or mediocre performance is redone … the kid will get a better grade in the course than he would have done without that parent intervention.”

    This is where I disagree. High school is too old for that. You can not suddenly start big micromanaging of 17 years old. Either the kid want good grades or not. If they want them, they will give it the best effort regardless, if they do not, they will rebel.

    Grades at that level depend a little on “did you finished the boring worksheet” or cut and glued something. At least in my experience. You have to show understanding, write essays or do more substantial things. Those are not easy to micromanage.

    High school kids also know their relative standing. If my school mates grades would suddenly go up, I would be aware of that and try harder back then. If the teacher would start to grade every single small assignment, I would start to do them all.

    It may be different for kids who are not ambitious or unsure whether they want to go to university. But if they do want to go, they are able to understand what is needed and do that. I just trust them :).

    Most parents can not even help them that much, relearning all those high school chemistry, history and what not would take them too much time.

    Parents attitudes can motivate or demotivate them, but that it different.

  94. Emily November 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I agree with Andy. When I was in high school, most of the “tracker” students were in the Basic or General stream (as opposed to Advanced, which was the stream for university-bound students), didn’t enjoy school, didn’t want to go to university, and either dropped out, or coasted through doing as little as possible. Some of these people were perfectly nice, good people too–they just didn’t feel like they fit into the whole “school” puzzle, and that’s okay. I really didn’t fit in until high school, when I found my place in the music department, and then after that, it was smooth sailing socially, and mostly fine academically, except for math, which probably wouldn’t have been a problem if my parents had let me take General instead of Advanced.

  95. Emily November 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Sorry, hit Enter too soon. Anyway, my point is, parental helicoptering alone doesn’t produce brilliant, motivated students. Sure, parents can encourage their kids, take them to the library, museum, theatre, etc., buy them books and art supplies, etc., when they’re young, and they absolutely should. However, by high school, if the kid isn’t a “school kind of person,” then no amount of nagging is going to change that. I’m not saying that change can’t happen, but it ultimately has to come from inside.

    P.S., Before anyone asks, I still would have gotten into university with General math, because I was in Advanced for everything else, except grade ten English, which had an Enriched option that I took instead.

  96. Jennifer November 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    My son’s school implemented a similar system within the last few years, and it has actually helped me helicopter LESS. Before (and not coincidentally, when he was younger) I was checking the backpack daily, asking to see all graded work, etc. because he was just not getting work done. Now that we have the online system, he stays on top of it himself, I trust him to stay on top it, but I set it up so that if he drops below a certain grade in any subject it send me a notice, and then I know to talk to him about getting back on track. This addresses my silly-yet-ever-present fear that if I’m not on top of things I’m a bad mom and things will get so bad he’ll never be able to recover his grades.

    I’m still overcoming my own heavily supervised, over-protective upbringing, so I know I have a long way to go, but this has been much better for my son. His experience is that I check in a few times a year, but otherwise leave his grades up to him. I still think about it and I’m still concerned, but it’s not affecting HIM the way daily homework supervision used to. It might be coincidence, it might be more maturity, or it might be that the online system has provided me a safety net so I can back off, but his grades are much better, he’s not missing assignments, and HE cares about his grades now.

  97. Allison November 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Our school district has Infinite Campus which I check only about once a week (and then not always) so I actually have to put a reminder to do it. I believe that my middle schooler does have access to her grades but not my 5th grader at the elementary level (or she may have just never done it). I think once a week lets me keep up-to-date and deal with missing work before it’s too late. She is in 8th grade this year so this is definitely something I plan to phase out over her high school years. Probably pretty quickly!

  98. Henry Miller November 9, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    Seems like a great way to get kids to hate school. While kids are forced to go to school, somehow you need to make them see that learning is fun. Homework is the anti-fun, and a good way to get kids to rebel. (In fact studies have \ shown that the more homework a kid does in school the worse they do latter in life – because enough kids are drivin drop out of school to completely offset the little gain there is from extra homework)

    You need to know that you kids is learning. Learning is a very different concept from getting good grades.

  99. Cynthia November 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    It seems to me that it’s really up to the parent to adjust to having this kind of info about their kids. Suggesting that a phone app is turning a parent into a helicopter parent is as ridiculous as people claiming that rock & roll causes violence. We all own our responses to situations. Don’t download the app if you don’t want the info. And if you do, temper your reaction if little Susie happens to get a C. Seems clear and simple to me.

  100. Warren November 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Sorry, Cynthia, there is only one reason to get this app. You don’t trust your kids.

    If you trust your kids, then these next steps are all you need.

    1. Talk to your kids.

    Wow see how easy that is, and I didn’t need a phone to do it.

  101. Cynthia November 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Warren, I don’t see how what I’ve written suggests that parents should use the app. So no need to apologize. My point was simple: A phone app by itself does not cause one to become a helicopter parent. It is how you use the app and whatever over-parenting tendencies/reactions that result from the info you receive through the app that lends itself to trouble. Looking up your middle schooler’s grade every month or so does not automatically mean you don’t trust him/her. Leonore admits to looking up her sons’ grades herself (albeit “not very much” and not through a phone app). It’s what happens beyond the app or computer program that makes one a helicopter parent or not. Assuming that one doesn’t talk to his/her kids just because he/she uses the app is a little ridiculous. It’s like assuming that one’s kids don’t ever spend time playing outside if they own a computer, tv and/or video games at home.

  102. Claire November 10, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    This isn’t along the lines of checking grades, as my eldest is 3 and therefore has none yet, but more along the lines of iPhone app notifications. I’ve noticed that when I have the Facebook and Twitter apps on my phone, I feel inclined to drop whatever I’m doing and look when I get a notification. I also think I check it more often just for browsing. In an effort to stop this habit, I deleted them both from my phone. This has led to me not responding to someone for, GASP, 12 hours and them being surprised it took so long, but oh well for them. I don’t need to be glued to Facebook all day every day. I’m guessing that if you deleted the app and just bookmarked it in your Safari that it would be less of a temptation to constantly look and you’d still visit it often enough that you can help him earn higher grades.

  103. Andy November 10, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    @Warren There are other reasons to use the app besides mistrust. What if your kid tell you everything, but you simply tend to forget? You forgot and you are curious about how the kid is doing overall – check the app. No reason to bother the kid.

    Your kid is sick and out of school – check the app to help him keep up with some bare minimum of school work.

    I’m confident that I could come up with more reasons if I would try. If we will reinterpret everything in worst possible way just to feed our outrage, we will end up unnecessary angry.

  104. Warren November 12, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    @Andy,
    This is not outrage, this is laughing at how people are willing to use technology, rather than human interaction.

    If people’s lives are that busy, that they need all these apps to keep up, then there is something wrong with their lives or their time management skills.

    My kids are sick, and oh my god, their friend is asked to bring the work home for them. Benefits……keeps up with work, sees a friend, and the friend gets the appreciation and sense of pride for helping a friend in need.

    And I don’t know about you, but I tend to remember what my kid tells me about homework, tests, projects, book reports and the like. But being able to double check the specifics on the schools website is good. The idea of getting notifications sent to your phone, is just ridiculous.

    Years ago email was looked at the same way. Just to be used as reminders, or quick notes. Now it is the prefered form of communication.

    All these apps, tweets, emails, you name it, are causing a breakdown in society. Generations are growing up not knowing how to communicate, in person. They are not able to convey their ideas verbally, because they need the extended time to type it out, double check it, spell check it and then send it.
    Sorry, but there is absolutely no substitute for talking to your kid. Talking to coworkers.
    People I work with know, if it is about something that needs to be addressed, changed or modified……..don’t text me, don’t email me. Either talk to me in person, or on the phone.

  105. Tina November 15, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    We’re in Texas and use Skyward and it makes me wanna bang my head against a wall almost daily except for the weekends. I hate it. It is addicting somehow, though; I refused to use it through Middle School, but caved with High School just this school year. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Not only do I hate it, but it’s counter productive in a lot of ways and, again, I feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall with it b/c the grades constantly change, for better or worse. What happened to “Honey, got your progress report in the mail, today… get those grades up STAT!, or else… ” ?!?!?! Ugh.

  106. Tom Triumph November 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    As a middle school teacher, I like our online grading system. Instead of the green grade book full of mystery, I simply put the grades in the grade book as I grade them. Some of my colleagues grade on their iPad as they walk around the group (small assignments).

    Ours is open to students, and we have them log in from time to time to see where they stand and plan a course of action. Knowledge is power, and this teaches responsibility. The action (doing the work) is still up to them.

    Parents can alter the settings, too. Some get an email every Friday with their kid’s grades. So, they’re in the loop, but they don’t hover because they give their kid a week to pull up grades, get work in and the like. Some opt to only get notified when somethings missing. Others are addicted. But, as a teacher, it’s my job to offer insight into their child’s progress, not save them from themselves.

    When we first installed the system, everyone was addicted. Students would watch the screen in study hall, not acting–as if it would move without work. But everyone has calmed down after two years. And I watch families solve problems and praise in a timely fashion.

  107. Shannon November 19, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    My older sons school sends emails weekly about what is being learned and assigned that week. It would not be a major issue if this was the work actually assigned that week. I try to make sure that he knows I know he has homework this week and let his dad know as dad is the stay at home parent. Other than that I stay away from his grades. The only time I really get upset is when the school tries to add something outside his IEP. Such as when they put him in extra phonics/reading help because he reads slower than other 7th graders. This was not sent in an email or addendum to said IEP it was done while he was in science and pulled out for “extra” help. Oh yeah let me mention my son has a form of dyslexia that make phonetically reading near impossible for him. That meant I was calling the school as he let me and my hubby know right away a change was made and why. I am a big believer in as long as you put in the full effort I am not going to go crazy about your grades.
    Although with my kindergartner, unless he got a yellow day the teacher has nothing to report and even took the agendas out of the equation. They send home a packet weekly that has to be turned in each Friday of work to do( usually writing letters or numbers or underlining some sort of punctuation mark) and on the front of hit take home folder is a calendar with important events days off and the like. Other than that there is no other excessive contact with said teacher.

    All that aside my kids both enjoy going to school and learning and actually do better without me hovering. A point my hubby made to me last year when he became the stay at home parent. The weekly emails don’t even really get checked they go in a folder in my email. I talk to my kids about it and what they learned an tiger over all behavior. They know what we expect and there are set consequences if they are not truly putting in the effort (such as just not doing the work, just because he didn’t want to). Unless there is a behavior issue, please i will see the test and homework and notebooks so please please please do not send me an email every hour…

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