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What to look for in your child's Powerschool account
  • Calendar Apr 16, 2018
  • User Jared Wells
  • Category In Uncategorized
  • Comments 0 Comments
powerschool Every year, we get calls from parents 2 weeks before the end of the semester, "I just got a call/email from the teacher and my son/daughter needs to get an A on the final to pass the class!" It's a tough situation to be in. Obviously, at that point, telling a student what they should have been doing all semester doesn't help much, and we are in triage mode. But telling them now, so they don't find themselves in that situation, can make a huge difference! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And many schools provide a great prevention tool: Powerschool! Students should be checking their Powerschool accounts frequently (weekly) to look for red flags.  But if that isn't a weekly habit, now is a great time to look over their Powerschool account to notice any red flags that are easy to correct now, but won't be so easy to correct 6 weeks from now! And for students whose schools don't have Powerschool, checking their grade websites (or emailung/calling/scheduling a meeting with a teacher) can serve the same purpose. 1) Missing homework assignments or tests Students have so much work to do to stay caught up, it can be easy for them to say, "Well, it's already late. I can take care of that later" about a missed assignment or test. Days turn into weeks, then into months, and pretty soon you have a student asking a teacher in May to make up a quiz from February. Toward the end of the semester, teachers are going to be inundated with requests for turning in late homework assignments, make-up tests, extra credit opportunities, and so on. Students should be handling these things now so that, as the end of the semester approaches, they can focus on getting ready for finals rather than trying to chase down homework assignments they "know they turned in" weeks ago. As you might imagine, teachers aren't particularly sympathetic to students who are requesting to turn in homework 3 months after it was due. Also, noticing missing homework assignments right now can give you and your son or daughter time to make the adjustments necessary to get the rest of the semester's homework turned in on time. Help your student problem-solve: what is getting in the way of getting the homework assignments turned in on time? 2) Poor test grades There is still time to turn poor test grades around! A poor grade on a test might all but guarantee a poor grade on the next test without intervention, particularly if the material is cumulative (for example, in a math class or chemistry). But sometimes students have the idea that a poor test grade can be made up by doing well on the next two. It can...but only if the student addresses the cause of the initial poor grade and does something differently. Additionally, occasionally poor test grades can be made up with test corrections or test retakes. These are opportunities that should be explored now rather than at the end of the semester (when a teacher might not be so sympathetic to such requests). 3) Poor grades on homework assignments I tell my students that "homework is free points". It's tough to fail a class as long as the student is doing the homework. Though this is often the case, sometimes teachers actually grade homework, and lost points on homework are often dismissed by students. It's true that getting a bad score on a homework assignment, in and of itself, isn't going to affect a student's grade much. But months of bad scores on homework assignments can indeed have a significant impact. And oftentimes it is just a small change that needs to be made in order to get full points on homework assignments. Again, noticing that a student isn't getting full marks on homework assignments now give the student the opportunity to make the adjustments necessary to earn a lot more points for the rest of the semester. In addition, not getting full marks can also be a sign that the student is struggling with the material, which again, can be corrected once noticed (particularly before a test comes up!) It's no surprise that a student who is struggling to get full marks on homework assignments isn't performing well on exams. But poor grades on homework assignments or quizzes can be a boon...they can be early warning about potential poor performance on a test. Conclusion: Make going through your son or daughter's powerschool a weekly routine. The more quickly you notice something is amiss on their Powerschool, the sooner and more easily you can take corrective action. -Vince Give us a call at 858.551.2650 if you'd like to discuss what you are seeing on your child's Powerschool account.

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