by Fariha Tamboli and Lei Lei Wu
West Windsor Plainsboro made the switch from Infinite Campus to Genesis over the summer. All of the student information was transferred from one site to the other, so students can now check their information on Genesis.
For students, the change is minimal. Though at first, there was minor confusion with how to check grades and use the portal itself, students eventually figured it out. Some functions are in different places, but Genesis has the same functions as Infinite Campus on the student’s side: it shows grades attendance, and student information. “Honestly, Genesis is similar to Infinite Campus. I don’t really see the difference,” Junior Iris Kwak said.
At first, teachers, too, were lost with Genesis, as the system worked differently from Infinite Campus. “We didn’t get any training really using Genesis, so it was inconvenient to figure out a lot of the things…regarding putting grades in, making them calculate the way you want them to, making sure the parents and kids can see the grades. There’s somethings you have to do in there that nobody told us,” calculus teacher Bob Boyce said.
Vice Principal Peter James said, “ I know that when we first transitioned, as you’d expect with anybody, there was a lot of confusion. I think as we’ve worked through this and people got more comfortable with it, they’ve started to see it as an information system. The information’s there, just maybe in a different place than it was before.”
However, the big improvement is for the administration. Genesis is a New Jersey-based program, so its functions comply better with the state’s mandates. Many districts within New Jersey rely on Genesis rather than other programs.
Genesis’s services help the school report information on PARCC testing, attendance, and conduct more efficiently. “All the data now talks a little bit better than what had to happen in the past. That means people have more man hours to focus on what we should be focusing on: instruction, kids, activities and what we are doing as opposed to building reports,” James said.
However, there are a few drawbacks, as always, to changing to a new system. Junior Yaashna Sharma said, “It’s inconvenient how there’s no mobile app for Genesis like there was for Infinite Campus, so I can’t check my grades on my phone.” Washington Seminar sign-ups are also still under construction. James and history teacher Greg Bugge are currently working on a sign-up process for Washington Seminar through Genesis.
James encourages that parents, students, and teachers alike, contact the district and guidance for more help with operating the Genesis accounts if they encounter any issues.
The change from Infinite Campus to Genesis has compelled people to learn to operate a new system. James believes that the switch will take time for people to adjust. He said, “We are all working through a change and we will grow together as it becomes part of our culture.”