Online tool lets Arlington public school students check grades, class times

With just a few clicks, 7th grader Matteo Dristas can check his class schedule, grades and attendance record, thanks to a new online communication tool for the Arlington County public school district.

"I have wasted [time] and been late to class talking to teachers asking, 'Can I check my grade?'" Dristas said. "With this, I can do this on my own time at home."

Dristas' parents can also log online to see the information at any time, but they say their son will be using the service the most.

"We kind of pretty much agree that I'll likely be using it the most," Dristas said. "They might check on it once in a while, but not very often."

The web-based communication tool was recently launched and already, it's sparking debate, especially among students at H.B. Woodlawn, which Dristas attends.

Jamie Kang, a 6th grader at H.B. Woodlawn, said the tool violates her rights.

"It's not like I'm the kind of person who hides my grades from my parents," Kang said. "But I'd rather be in charge of telling them and explaining why I got that."

Kang's parents said it's doubtful that they would use the tool.

"I want to be available to her and for us to have open communication, but I don't need to check up on her," said parent Elizabeth Kitsos-Kang. "I don't think it's healthy and I don't think it makes her feel empowered.

Another parent is leaving it up to her kids.

"If they wanted to show me, they could show me," said Suzanne Dunn.

School officials said the service is optional for parents.

{ }