By Whitney Black
This year, WCHS has taken on a new software that students will be using to access their grades. In past years, PowerSchool was used for students and for teachers; however, this year WCHS said goodbye to PowerSchool and took on Synergy.
Although staff and students have been having difficulties adjusting to this new program, there are many reasons why the school switched. Director of Student Services Shannon Fritz explained some of the details on Synergy and why the school switched.
“We have been with PowerSchool for 16 years and we’ve outgrown the capacity of what PowerSchool can do. So we started to look out there to find something that might be able to grow with us for the next however many years,” Fritz said.
By next year, WCHS will be fully using standards-based grading opposed to percentage based. Some classes even work with it now; however, in the gradebook it is still percentage based grading. Synergy will be a great resource when it’s in full effect.
“Synergy has better capabilities to show standards-based grades better than PowerSchool. It should be easier for parents to look at the gradebook and understand what it’s saying,” Fritz said.
Although staff and students are still trying to figure out Synergy, some staff have found some new benefits with Syneregy that PowerSchool did not offer. English teacher Malerie Jeffries discussed the positives she has found in Synergy.
“Synergy is easier to use because I don’t have to go into another program to use the gradebook. It’s all right there. It notifies me if I have not taken attendance. Everything is in one location; that’s the biggest thing. I don’t have to go to multiple programs to do different things,” Jeffries said.
In the beginning, students, mainly seniors, were concerned because they were not able to access transcripts, GPA or see their percentage grades. However, now students are able to see their grades as percentages and can talk to their counselors about accessing their transcripts. Senior Grace Brewington, discussed her preference on Synergy.
“Compared to PowerSchool I think Syneregy over complicates the process of figuring out our grades and we still can’t see our GPA,” Brewington said.
At the beginning, Synergy had a rough start but, it is getting figured out and before long everyone will be used to it. Until then, everyone will just need to have patience.