Examining the use of Engrade at WHS

There is no sound in the air. While half of the class is bent over textbooks, homework and notes, the other half of the class is staring at screens on their computers, their faces illuminated by the blue glow. They are checking Engrade.

Engrade is a website used by WHS to allow students to track their grades throughout the school year. If you want to see how you did on a test you took or check your overall grades in your classes, you can log onto Engrade and look.

“I believe we started using it as a school four or five years ago, although some teachers had been using it well before that,” principal Allyson Mizoguchi said.

Engrade was founded in 2003 with the goal of sharing grading information with students and parents.

“I think that it can be helpful for students, as well as those who support students, to have that current snapshot of their achievement in a course,” Mizoguchi said.

According to Mizoguchi, Engrade is meant to help students see their current grades and to help them be able to change anything before it’s too late. She explains it promotes healthy discussion between the students and their guardians.

However, Mizoguchi also feels that it can promote unhealthy stress. Students and parents can end up checking the website multiple times a day, desperate for updates on the students’ grades. In addition, Engrade doesn’t always reflect the students’ current progress depending on teachers’ grading styles.

“I think [Engrade] is good, except some of my teachers use other things,” junior Maddie Moran said. “I think it should all be consistent, but I like seeing all my grades.”

English department head Brian Keaney likes the website. He has never had a problem with Engrade and thinks that it is much better than iPass, the site some WHS teachers opt to use instead.

“Engrade is okay, especially for students being able to check to see if they’re missing any assignments,” Keaney said.

However, like Mizoguchi, Keaney thinks that Engrade can be bad when students are expecting immediate updates to their grades throughout the day and become obsessed with checking the site.

Despite these concerns, students seem to appreciate the website and like being able to view their grades whenever they want.

“I like it personally because it’s just nice being able to see all of my grades ahead of time rather than [getting them] in class and stressing out about them all day,” junior Jessica Flagg said.