La Serna switches to Aeries

Ashley Lord, Features Editor

This past summer, La Serna High School changed its grading and attendance program from Synergy to Aeries. According to math teacher Dan DuPont, La Serna’s liaison to the district for Aeries (or, the “Admiral of Aeries”), teachers were unhappy with Synergy and many negative issues came up with it as time passed. Teachers wanted to keep the old program before Synergy, which was called Zangle. As a result, the district was open to look for a new system. La Serna now has an account with Aeries that is available for students, teachers, and administrators.

Aeries offers more of what people wanted to see in Synergy. “I do see that a lot of the things that people wanted to see addressed in Synergy have been addressed in Aeries,” DuPont said. He said it is efficient for what teachers want it to do.

English and Philosphy teacher Eric Twisseann said, “It can do all of the usual things that Synergy used to do: take attendance, do grading, and keep track of grade books, and it’s got a portal for students and parents so they can check grades online and get their updates.”

Teachers have been trying to get used to Aeries. “Educators are very particular people. They have a certain way they do things and there is a certain expectation as how they expect something to look,” DuPont said. Over the summer, a full day of training for staff as well as a two hour training session was made available to teachers to familiarize themselves with the new program. The school was alerted before the end of the 2014-2015 school year of the switch from Synergy to Aeries, unlike the switch to Synergy from Zangle that seemed to be last minute. Teachers had to familiarize themselves with Synergy whenever they could find the time. With Aeries, teachers came to school with a bit more knowledge but since it is still the early stages, teachers are not yet completely comfortable with Aeries. “It looks different but it has a lot of the same features so it’s just a matter of learning where those pieces moved on the screen,” said Algebra II and Geometry teacher Christine Herbert.  “It’s simpler in that there seem to be fewer mouse clicks necessary to get to places. It’s somewhat easier to navigate,” Twisselmann said. Twisselmann said Aeries logs out really fast, so walking away for a minute forces the screen to log out and the teacher has to log back in again to take attendance.

Students are also getting accustomed to Aeries and have recently been going online to their portals to check their grades. It uses the school email and password given to students last year to log in. Some students have downloaded an app for Aeries which was also available for Synergy. When students logged into Aeries and saw the new set up, not all were completely satisfied. Like the teachers, students had to get aquatinted with the new format. “It was just the annoying feeling of having to try out a new system again and having to get used to that when I just got used to Synergy,” said senior Briana Ortiz.