Recently, the Poway Unified School District has implemented a new requirement for teachers regarding the input of students’ grades. Previously, a teacher was simply able to log into their school account, before proceeding with their grading. Once that was deemed “not secure enough”, teachers then had to be emailed a verification code to enter before proceeding.
“It was so great before, all you did was log in to your account, and boom! You were in,” Virapha Kashon, a teacher for Poway Unified said.
However, the district and the school board have decided that a more secure process should be applied to the grading system.
“The safety of a teacher’s process of altering student grades is just too important. We cannot risk teachers having the ability to input student grades without a thorough verification process,” Cynera Jia, a member of the PUSD school board said.
However this new process of receiving a verification code has been determined unsecure.
The new process is as follows: rather than simply inputting verification emailed to their account, teachers must hack past the firewall and deep into the district software to the encrypted code controlling synergy.
Teachers must decode the binary code connecting Synergy and MyConnect. Within the translation, they must look for a riddle that changes spontaneously every few minutes (for safety reasons).
Once the riddle is answered, teachers must run to the office and deliver the answer before the riddle has been switched. There is a 63% chance the riddle could be switched before the teacher makes it to the office (for safety reasons). If the teacher does not deliver the correct answer, or if the riddle times out before they are able to, they must repeat the process of hacking in, finding the riddle, and delivering it.
However if the teacher delivers the correct answer to the current riddle, they have made it past the first step. For their correct answer, they will receive a random student schedule. The teacher must cross-reference the schedule with the student’s teacher’s schedule for that current period. These pieces of information will help them deduce the email of a district employee to email for a verification code.
This verification code must be utilized within the next two to three business days to remain valid.
If the email is not decoded before the class period ends, the teacher must receive a new student schedule with a new teacher to get a new email. The email changes spontaneously every few minutes (for safety reasons).
Once the district member has been emailed, if the email has not timed out, the teacher will receive an automated response notifying them that the email has been received. They will get a reply within the next five to seven business days.
District employees across all of PUSD agree that this new method of inputting grades has a 100% higher success rate of preventing incorrect grades from entering the grade book.