What happened to our report cards?

[/caption] Cordelia Meserow Editor-in-Chief It was the last block on a Friday afternoon.  I heard several whispers in the senior hallway: “grades reports…” “I did so bad in calc!” “Grades are up?”  I had happened to have my laptop at school that day, and to satisfy my curiosity I opened my locker and got my computer out before I went home for the day.  I logged onto Romannet and clicked the icon on the right hand side under the label “Student performance” where it said “Report cards”.  Safari suddenly began to download a PDF onto my desktop.  I opened it, and what did I find, but my first quarter grades.  Including comments from my teachers, as well as my imperfect tardy record.   While I was quite thrilled with some of my first quarter grades, I was not sure how thrilled I was with this method of receiving them. Each quarter, I always awaited that large envelope that was mailed to my house.  Nervously, in the two weeks that followed grade report writing, I would go through each and every envelope to see if there was one from Latin.  When the envelope finally came, I was able to rip it open and quickly glance over each letter before I moved on to the comments.  My dad would also get a copy the same day, and I would typically get a call from him congratulating me on my work in some classes and encouraging me to work harder in others. In an effort to be environmentally friendly, financially savvy and technologically up-to-date, the school has made many changes.  This year, Latin parents and students did not receive printed copies of grade reports.  Two years ago, the parent newsletters stopped being printed. Even this once gloriously printed newspaper is now only online.  The school sees these changes as something positive and a way to embrace the increasingly technological world that we seem to inhabit, but there is something to be said about receiving grade reports, a typically glorified piece of paper that your parents often tape to the refrigerator, in an online format. The thrill is gone.  All you do is sit down in front of the computer, click a link and there it is.  You sit for a few minutes reading, until your eyes start to get sore from staring at your hideously low AP Calculus grade and then log onto your Facebook.  Sure, I called my mom about my grades when I saw them, but it was not until days later that I even remembered to tell my dad, who has absolutely no idea how to use Romannet, more or less download and print a PDF, that I had even received my grades at all because he had not received his copy in the mail.  I eventually emailed them to him.  Somehow, he managed to figure out how to read them on his Blackberry, but unless I had told him and sent him the grades myself, he would have had no way of knowing how I was doing in school. Printing is going out of style.  It’s not just at Latin.  What about college admissions?  Currently, I am anxiously awaiting that date in early December at 3 pm when I can view my early school’s decision.  I know exactly what day, what time and how I am going to view that decision.  There is no opening an envelope.  With this current grade report situation at Latin, I realize how much I would have loved to be able to receive notification of my admissions decision for college in paper.  I would not have to count down the days.  If I were accepted, I could tape the letter to my refrigerator in all its glory.  Now, all I can do is take a screen shot on my computer, print it out and then put it on the refrigerator.  Totally not the same. I understand the school is making an effort to be environmentally, financially and technologically savvy, but whether it’s a student newspaper or a student’s report card, there is still some information that needs to be seen on paper.]]>