Controversy Emerges Surrounding Schoology

What students and staff are saying about the new program


Cole Ferrentino, Staff Writer

Students and teachers of the Danbury Public School District are facing conflicting feelings this school year following the introduction of Schoology – a classroom management software owned by Powerschool – into the learning curriculum.

Schoology first made its debut in Danbury classrooms at the start of the 2022 school year in August. The new program would replace Google Classroom, the software that Danbury students and teachers have been using for over eight years. The district’s decision to make this switch mandatory, however, has sparked controversy.

“It’s definitely impacted my grades,” says Tyler Scherer, a student at the Alternative Center for Excellence. “The system is too complicated. Submitting work on there feels impossible.” Other students feel that Schoology has impacted the type of work students are given. “We use computers much less now than we did last year,” student Savannah Coscarella claims. “Schoology is difficult to use, and I think traditional paper-and-pencil work has become the easier option for teachers when it comes to grading.” Several students and teachers at the Alternative Center for Excellence have expressed similar concerns with the website’s user interface. Genesis Andujar, a student at the program, has been particularly vocal about the changes students would like to see. “It’s a complicated way of learning,” says Andujar. “Things like submitting assignments and attaching files need to be improved in order to make Schoology less complicated.”

The required use of Schoology in classrooms has raised concerns about how much freedom teachers have over how they teach their students. Social studies teacher Rob Melillo disclosed, “As a social studies teacher, I feel we’re lucky to be trusted enough to have the amount of ‘say’ in our teaching that we do.” Melillo then added, “I can confidently say, though, that many other teachers in the district do not have enough freedom in how they teach.” Another teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, commented, “In general, I think we have enough freedom, but this situation kind of challenges that. I don’t feel forced, but that is because I still have paper handouts as an option.” Expressing frustrations with the site, the teacher
subsequently added that complications with the site’s interface have affected the work being assigned – and that is a major part of teaching.

Numerous complaints about Schoology have continued to arise throughout the first few weeks of the school year. With several students and staff members voicing their dissatisfaction with the site, it’s unclear what the future holds regarding Schoology’s presence in Danbury public school classrooms. At this time, however, it appears that Schoology is here to remain.