Stuyvesant Switches from IO Classroom to Jupiter Ed Gradebook

Stuyvesant is switching from PupilPath to the gradebook platform JupiterEd for the 2022 to 2023 school year.

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By Joanna Meng

In light of cybersecurity concerns, particularly with the information of around 820 thousand students’ data being leaked through hacking, the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) has decided to shift away from the IO Classroom and PupilPath platform.

Though the DOE has developed its own grading platform, DOE Grades, the city’s gradebook is not mandated for schools. With many teachers and students having prior experience using Jupiter Ed, Stuyvesant decided to collectively switch to Jupiter Ed as the grading platform for all classes.

The administration believes that the change in the gradebook platform would not pose many problems. “It made the most sense to choose Jupiter particularly as we are trying to build momentum from the past year and minimize additional changes,” Principal Seung Yu said. “The school is using one gradebook only so we want to go into the year with everyone helping one another to utilize the tool.”

Several students express approval of the transition from PupilPath to Jupiter Ed. “I absolutely hated [PupilPath]. I thought it was really bad,” sophomore Aeneas Merchant said. “First of all, a lot of the teachers had trouble grading in PupilPath, which led to a big disconnect between the teacher grading and the student [grades]. Second of all, it just kept crashing and periodically we could not get into PupilPath, and no one seemed to know how to get back in.”

Many teachers share the same sentiment, believing that IO Classroom was less convenient. “If I made a mistake, to go back and change something on Skedula was 10 steps when on Jupiter it’s two,” mathematics teacher Dawn Vollaro said. “Skedula was a lot harder; it was a learning curve that I just never adjusted to.”

Vollaro also remarks that Jupiter Ed brings new functionality to teacher activities, which was not present amidst IO Classroom’s technical difficulties. “I like [Jupiter] because you can e-mail a class, and you can e-mail all the parents to tell them there’s a test coming up. It was those e-mailing capabilities in Jupiter that Skedula didn’t have,” Vollaro said.

Some teachers have also found alternatives to certain IO Classroom features to supplement the staff and student experience with qualities of both gradebooks. “All I can tell you is that I am very happy with the change. Jupiter Ed is a much more practical platform for teachers and students,” Spanish teacher Frida Ambia said in an e-mail interview. “The only thing I liked about the [IO Classroom] platform was the birthday announcements, but I already found a solution for that—I had my students write their name and period on my calendar.”

However, the major feature that is irreplaceable with Jupiter Ed is IO Classroom’s ability to record daily attendance. “I liked [PupilPath] for attendance, and I liked it for marking period grades,” Vollaro said. “The only thing I like in Skedula is that if teachers were doing attendance live, then you can see [which classes] the student was [in] during the day.” As Jupiter Ed cannot be used for attendance, bubble sheets are currently the alternative to IO Classroom’s attendance feature.

On the other hand, many students dislike the user interface of Jupiter Ed. “I don’t like the way the website looks and it brings back terrible memories from the remote year, and so I would really love to not go back to that,” junior Sharika Shithi said.

The fact that Jupiter Ed does not have its own app is also a large reason students prefer PupilPath to Jupiter Ed. “I have a great dislike for Jupiter. I just don’t think it’s as visually appealing and the website isn’t as digestible as the PupilPath app. I think it’s nicer to look at the PupilPath app rather than [the] Jupiter [website],” junior Dorothy Ha said.

Regardless, Jupiter Ed became accessible to teachers and students on September 19 and will be the centralized grade database for Stuyvesant until further notice.