GradeView gets shot down, suspect unknown


Photo by Justin Greenzaid

The following message is now displayed when users open the GradeView mobile app. This message was prompted starting in the beginning of 2023 and access to GradeView is no longer available.

By Justin Greenzaid, Sports Editor

Stressful. When students are asked to describe school in one word, “stressful” comes up frequently. This stress which is often experienced by students of all grade levels is oftentimes built up by grades. Whether it is due to parent’s expectations or self goals for the future, grades are the leading contributor to the stress of WCHS students. 

The way students check their grades can differ in a few ways. However, until the beginning of 2023, most students used the app “GradeView” to check their grades. GradeView, formerly known as “myMCPSHelper,” was started in October 2017 by Seth Setse who at the time was a student at Sherwood High School. Since then, the app was downloaded over 150,000 times and was used by a large portion of MCPS students. 

The app had an extremely simple design and contained an extraordinary feature, that is credited as to why the majority of students admired the app: the ability to simulate grades by adding new future grades or changing past grades to preview how that would impact a student’s overall grade. Although simulating grade results could easily be done with a spreadsheet, this feature, along with the expedient response time to teacher grade input, made stress levels of students all around the county much lower. At the end of the day, knowing the score one needs on a specific test, quiz or worksheet, to meet their overall goal in the class makes it much easier to concentrate. 

“GradeView made life much easier and was an app that I didn’t realize how much I relied on until it was gone,” WCHS senior Brendan Carnathan said. “It definitely alleviated a lot of my own stress around grades as knowing what grade I had in a class is vital for choosing what classes I should focus on.”

The alternatives to GradeView included the MCPS affiliated StudentVue app which does not contain as many features as the GradeView app did and takes a longer to update grades. Since GradeView was better in every aspect to MCPS’s StudentVue, the majority of students used it. This was until MCPS recently shut down GradeView starting off the new year poorly. 

“I tried to rely on the MCPS’s attempt at a grade book known as StudentVue/Synergy, but the lack of intuitiveness, ability to change or alter grades, and fast updates made it very unreliable and inaccurate. What I liked about GradeView was the ability to manage your grades so easily as well as the tons of information it gave access to,” Carnathan said. 

Even though GradeView was highly advantageous to students, few people, including administrators and teachers, found the app to be hindering. Some would argue the app makes students lazier since students could see that even if they failed the final assessment of the quarter, they would still maintain their prized “A” overall. Knowing information like this, demotivated students to study and learn the material as they were aware their grade would already be set in stone. 

“At times if I knew my grade would be fine even if I didn’t perform my best on a certain test then I wouldn’t spend as much time studying. However, many times, knowing a certain test grade I needed in order to get the overall grade I was aiming for motivated me significantly to do my best,” WCHS senior Jamie Calhoun said. 

Other than this, there were not many downsides to the beloved GradeView app. Now, students are finally realizing how lucky they were to have access to this type of data. However, the downfall of the app is not just upsetting for students but also for the creator alike. 

“It was heart-breaking for me to have to shut down the app. I’d been working on the app for over five years and loved seeing it grow over the years. I’d hoped to be able to expand GradeView even further and wanted my little brother to be able to work on the app with me when he got into High School. I wish the ending wasn’t so abrupt for the students, I had been fighting to keep GradeView alive for a few months but in the end, I ran out of options,” GradeView creator Seth Setse said. 

Now, students are beginning to look for new alternatives to replace the fallen app. The first and main replacement to come is a website, which through methods can be turned into a mobile app, called GradeMelon. GradeMelon has similar features to GradeView, including the beloved grade inputting feature, but the layout is not quite as simple and user-friendly. Other than this, the only other option that remains is StudentVue, which most students try to avoid due to its lack of necessary features.

“Since GradeView’s conclusion, I have been using a new online website called Grade Melon. I think it is a suitable replacement but I don’t think it compares to the intuitiveness of Gradeview,” Carnathan said. “I wish Gradeview would just be brought back because it was an extremely useful tool for students and helped to relieve some of the stress associated with school.”

The event that GradeView becomes unprohibited is very rare so students will have to move on even with just the fond memories of the software. One day, maybe there will be an even greater app than GradeView but for now, the app which has set the precedent for all other grade managing apps is the one developed by MCPS’s very own Seth Setse. 

“It’s been amazing seeing the support for GradeView in the Montgomery County community. As someone who went to school in Moco at Sherwood High School, it was incredible seeing students in my classes using the app and watching it expand to the whole county. Even though GradeView supported many school districts, it was always the Moco students who were the biggest consumers of the app and I’m happy to have been able to create something that could help the community I grew up in,” Setse said.