Notes on “official notes” policy

An example of an official note. Image by Julia ’20.

Students stopped receiving comments on semester report cards and instead started receiving feedback from their teachers online via “official notes” on MyMarlborough last year. This change allowed teachers to inform students and their parents of student’s progress by giving suggestions for improvement and feedback on assessments. Notes are given as needed, but at least three times per semester. The first note of first semester was posted Monday, Oct. 2. The second note will be posted by Monday, Nov. 13 and the third note by Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Blaire Kaplan, mother of Jaiden ’20, prefers the new note system over report card comments.

“I love these notes, and they seem to be more personalized [than comments received on report cards]. I enjoy hearing from the teachers and think it’s a great addition to a parent-faculty relationship,” Kaplan said.

Emma ’20 feels that notes give them more of a chance to respond to feedback than only receiving feedback at the end of a quarter.

“Everything is finalized once you receive a comment on a report card, and there is nothing you can do. When you get your first or second note in one quarter, you know where you can go from there,” Emma said.

Science instructor Melissa Morlok said that she tends to see improvements in areas that she points out in notes.

“The notes system gives me the flexibility to give timely feedback to students rather than waiting until the end of the quarter,” Morlok said.

Notes are not only posted on MyMarlborough, but also emailed to the student and the student’s parents. Parents generally appreciate being updated on their daughter’s progress. However, students have differing views on this process.

Mila ’20 wishes she had a chance to work on habits pointed out in her notes before her parents were caught up to date.

“I don’t like that I can’t see my notes and improve upon my teachers’ comments before my parents see my notes, too,” Mila said.

On the other hand, Emma doesn’t mind the fact that her parents can see her notes as soon as she can.

“I feel like my parents should be aware of my progress. In general, I think it’s important for parents to know what is going on, especially if students don’t usually tell their parents about their schoolwork,” Emma said.

Although students have conflicting views on the fact that parents can see their notes, parents have said notes help them feel informed and connected.

“I certainly feel more dialed in to how well [my daughter is] doing or things she could improve upon. I feel these notes are based upon complimentary sentiments,” Kaplan said.

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