Athlete grade check process streamline

Emma Garcia, Online Editor-in-Chief

When the new policy for student athletes, which required participants to turn in grade checks every week, was first introduced, there was no guarantee it would succeed. But now that the new grade check system has had enough time to go fully go into effect, the administration and the athletic office are beginning to analyze exactly how well the new process is going.

“Overall, I would say it is a success,” Athletic Director Anthony Sahyoun said. “It is stressing to many of our student-athletes that school comes before sports.”

However, not everything has gone completely smoothly. With hundreds of student-athletes at Bear Creek, the administration and athletic office have begun making some changes, mostly stemming from teacher complaints that they were being inundated with dozens of grade checks each day, often in the same period.

“The positive outcome thus far has been our student athletes taking ownership and being proactive regarding their academic status on a weekly basis,” Assistant Principal Allen Dosty said in an email to the staff. “However, I do apologize for the inconvenience that our new system has caused and again thank you for taking [the] time to sign and support their efforts.”

The administration’s new plan to streamline the process is to have student athletes print out their grades from Aeries and give them to their coaches.

“The printout provides the necessary information and date for submission to coaches,” Dosty said in the email. “In the event that a teacher does not have his/her gradebook updated online, the student will still need to have their assigned teacher fill in and sign their grade check. You can do this directly on the Aeries printout for convenience.”

This new system will not only keep teachers from constantly having to check students’ grades and sign numerous grade checks every period but also save time for the coaches who have to monitor their student athletes’ grades.

“As with any new program, there are going to be some bumps in the road,” Sahyoun said. “We are constantly looking at all of our programs and ways in which we can improve.”

Girls cross country coach and science teacher Lauren Fromm might have already found a possible solution to remaining issues with the system.

Fromm set up a Google classroom, which allows the student athletes on the cross country team to take a screenshot of their grades and upload them into an assignment the coaches create each week. That way the coaches can keep track of which athletes didn’t turn in a grade check and act accordingly.

“We started off the season just north of 100 runners,” Fromm said. “With that many students, the burden paper grade checks placed on athletes, coaches, teachers, and the environment was more than a little unwieldy. [Another] solution was to have students screenshot their grades and email them to us, but even that was an unorganized mess. It was easy to lose a grade check or lose an important, class-related email in that flurry.”

So far, Fromm’s system has been a success and the cross country coaches have been able to fulfill their responsibilities as coaches when it comes to the new Bear Creek Athletic Academy.

Fromm is not sure how easy it will be for other coaches to implement this system — it all depends on the coaches and their particular group of athletes — but she’s glad that the system is working for her team.

“I think, as coaches, we are happy to support our athletes in this matter,” Fromm said. “While we are there to instruct our students in their sport, our goal is to teach discipline and responsibility in all aspects of life. If we are striving to only achieve excellence in our sport, we have done our student athletes a disservice.  We are just working to find a system that works for all parties involved.”