Why Interims Are Outdated


Julia Engles, Staff

We’ve gotten to the point in the quarter which students are receiving interims. With the easy access we have to sites like Schoology, it seems foolish to continue sending out paper copies of grades. The biggest issue most people have is that interims only represent a single point in time, whereas grades on Schoology may be different the very next day.

BCPS Rule 5210, subsection A, Interim Reports, states, “An interim report shall be issued for students in grades 1-12 at the midpoint of the marking period”.

This rule remains despite the redundancy in grade reporting. Students around this point in the quarter hear their teachers complaining about grades being pulled for interims, and confusion is often the result when Schoology grades are updated before interims are actually sent home.

“I don’t like interims because I can just check my grades online,” junior Aidan Fiffe explained.

Schoology offers students the ability to see their grades posted as quickly as teachers post them. It’s also definitely a more current resource than interims are because they are just a single point in time. This can also cause conflict between parents and students because some parents see the bad grades on interims and become frustrated, not understanding that those grades aren’t necessarily accurate.

English teacher Adriane Stewart understands how students feel.

“Although I understand that schools have an obligation to provide parents and guardians with interim grade reports for students, as a teacher and as a parent myself, I find interim grades and report cards unnecessary,” she explained. “With all grades available online, the most current info about a student’s progress is available in Schoology, not on a piece of paper that can become outdated even before it is distributed to students. As a teacher, I spend time updating interim grades that I’d rather spend on lesson planning or grading”.

Dr. Stewart went on to mention her own experience as a parent working with Schoology.

“As a parent, I rarely look at my children’s interim report cards. In fact, as I found out myself, no teacher could even tell me what to do with a signed interim if it were returned because none of my colleagues had ever encountered that situation before,” she said. “Perhaps this piece of paper is not taken seriously because the grades that appear on it do not actually remain in a student’s record; they are replaced by the four marking period grades, which become part of each student’s official record. In sum, I don’t see much point to interims.”

Junior Rebekah Rykiel feels similiarly.

“I don’t really like interims because they aren’t always accurate according to the timing that they’re sent out. Also, it can make my grades look worse than they actually are to my parents,” she said.

It seems that perhaps BCPS executives are a bit out of touch with the realities of what school is like anymore. Many people when asked brought up Schoology and how it erases the purpose of interims. In this age of easy availability technology, surely it is a possible to save some paper and cut interim reports altogether. Students, teachers, and parents alike all agree that interims are in fact outdated.