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The Dark Side of Infinite Campus

The Infinite Campus app is not raising responsible students. It is increasing stress and conflicts.

English Teacher Ryan McCallum clicks save on Infinite Campus to wrap up his grading for the week and start the weekend, but the fact that 35 students and many of their parents will receive instant notifications on their phones that could make or break their weekend slips his mind.

Meanwhile, Paola Linares-Santiago ‘24 has been refreshing Infinite Campus, waiting for an updated grade. Linares-Santiago is one of 15.7% of students at Buffalo High School that says Infinite Campus has made her life worse. Checking the app became a routine for Linares-Santiago.

“Today I took a geometry test. The second that I turned it in, I was already checking to see if [Linares-Santiago’s teacher] put the grade in. Then he told me he was going to curve [the test grades]. I’ve continued checking the portal like every five seconds to see if he’s put my grade curved or not. I don’t want [my current grade] to go down. I’m going to be checking probably every 10 minutes. I check on the app to make sure, just in case the notification didn’t show up,” says Linares-Santiago.

The illusion Infinite Campus is creating may seem like it is raising more responsible students, however, this is not the case. The need to be perfect in school is increasing students’ stress levels. Along with that, the app is creating trust issues between students and their families. 43% of 115 students interviewed said that Infinite Campus has been the source of a family conflict.

“My parents get really mad at me when they see my grades come back. My mom doesn’t allow me to hang out with anyone until I get the grades up,” says Chloe Nyland ‘24.

In a survey conducted six years ago, in June of 2016, 5.2% of students said that Infinite Campus made their life worse. A similar study done in March of 2022 said that 15.7% of students say that Infinite Campus has made their life worse. The increase in this data shows that Infinite Campus is gaining power over students, teachers, and families. Parents and students having the availability to receive constant grade updates anywhere only makes this issue worse.

“[My dad] will see a notification and won’t ask me what the problem is. He will go on a whole thing about how I need to fix [a grade]. He doesn’t understand why the grade was wrong, like if I was just gone that day,” said Tatum Kjellberg ‘23.

Although the school is taking action to change grading, Infinite Campus is still the deliverer of news and is creating a sticking point between teachers and families. A cohort of teachers is working to find a solution to the grading problem, but Infinite Campus is still overlooked as the root of the problem. 

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