Staff Editorial: We Can’t Keep Waiting for CLARITY to Update

Staff Editorial: We Can’t Keep Waiting for CLARITY to Update

CLARITY allows students to access their grades without begging teachers for progress reports. It’s not a perfect system and can cause stress and tension between students and parents, students and teachers, teachers and parents, etc. — but in the end, CLARITY only works if the grade book is updated regularly.

Some teachers are great at updating CLARITY: Grades are entered within a few days of the assignments being collected and returned to students. But not all teachers meet this expectation.

According to Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) policy, teachers are expected to post “assignments and assessments as assigned” and “record grades every ten instructional days.” Not every teacher follows this policy, since grades are often updated at the very end of the quarter.

LCPS policy regarding CLARITY, which is available under the information tab on the LCPS website, also states that a school-specific policy is available on the CLARITY Parent Portal page for each school. It is well-known that the administrative expectation for teachers at Tuscarora is that grades are updated every ten days in line with LCPS policy. But this might be unclear to students and parents because Tuscarora’s Parent Portal page does not state that information, instead including a link back to the LCPS CLARITY page. A clearer statement of the school’s policy would ensure everyone has consistent expectations.

Now, it is understandable that grading takes time. Teachers are responsible for multiple classes and have to grade hundreds of assignments. That is why they are only expected to update every ten school days. Two weeks to grade an assignment seems reasonable, yet some gradebooks remain empty for much longer.

Some teachers tend to wait until the very end of the quarter before uploading grades from much earlier assignments. This makes it difficult for students to track their progress throughout the quarter.

The fourteen snow day cancellations we had this year definitely didn’t make things easier for teachers, but the CLARITY problem was an issue even before the snow started falling.

Since students are required to meet deadlines when it comes to finishing assignments, shouldn’t teachers be held to the same expectation? Yes, test corrections and late work extend deadlines and add more work for the teachers, but should they wait until the last possible moment to plug other completed grades into CLARITY?