by Veronica H-Mildish
This school year, the Hudson school district has decided to switch from the previous grading system of IPass to Aspen.
Aspen is a system that is currently available to school counselors, teachers and students in the high school. It should be available to parents by the end of the term. Students can access Aspen at https://ma-hudson.myfollett.com/aspen/logon.do and follow the login procedure that was sent to student emails.
Guidance Counselor Angie Flynn likes the fact that students and parents have their own personalized accounts.
She also likes that she can access a ton of information, such as IEPs, conduct, and 504 information. They were available before on IPass, but they are much easier to access now.
The teacher’s response to Aspen is pretty diverse. History teacher Tim Reinhardt explains likes that he is able to pick specific assignments to drop while making sure others, like test grades, stay. He can also access medical information on his students.
He still is finding some negatives to Aspen. He finds that he isn’t able to access the schedules of students he doesn’t have. This could be problematic if he needed to discuss an afterschool activity with them.
For some teachers this isn’t an issue, and they prefer Aspen. “I like it a lot better than iPass for many reasons,” says English teacher Maureen DeRoy, “but like anything new, it definitely took some getting used to.” With Aspen she is able to add notes to her grades with much more ease than she ever was able to with IPass.
And although, in the beginning, many students were upset about not having access to their grades like they were accustomed to, as they gained access and became more acclimated to the program, they liked it more and have similar opinions to the teachers.
“I thought it was really confusing at first, and I didn’t know how to get around Aspen, but now I’m getting more comfortable and I like it better,” says sophomore Sammy Gogan.
Athough there is positive feedback, some students still prefer IPass rather than the new system.
“I think Aspen is convenient and I like the way it’s set up, but I liked IPass better because we could see everyone’s assignments easier and we could see what the teachers put in,” says freshman Erika Ashman.
In the future, Flynn thinks guidance is going to focus on figuring out all the parts of Aspen before they add any other new projects. She is hoping that, with the program, she will be able to make a better master schedule for next school year. For now, they’re just going to take this new program “day by day, step by step.”