In an attempt to improve student attendance at the end of the year, the School has added a mandatory school day after Finals week and eliminated the rule allowing students with Advanced Placement (AP) Exams to miss classes during the 24 hours before their Exam. We at the UltraViolet believe that this final day of School is unnecessary and that taking away a study day before AP Exams eliminates a vital time that students need to review a year’s worth of material.
Many students agree that having an extra day to study help them mentally prepare for the Exam. This year, students will only be given the day of their AP Exam off. Students with a morning exam will be given the afternoon off, while students with an afternoon exam do not have to come to School until the test. But giving a student the full day off before an AP exam allows her to calm her nerves. We can use the time to relax and get ready, which could mean anything from taking a long nap to doing a quick final review. If students are given the day before the Exam off, they do not have to worry about other classes and can focus their minds on the Exam they have the next day. AP Exams are already extremely difficult, so why is the School adding extra pressure by forcing us to go to School the day before the test?
For the past several years, students who wanted to review their final exams or projects with their teachers had the option of attending office hours on the Monday after finals end. However, this year the School is replacing office hours with classes. Students will be required to come to School and attend each of their classes for ten minutes. But having office hours is a much more productive option, since students get to choose which teachers they need to speak to and do not need to waste time in classes that did not have an exam or final project, such as Physical Education.
Furthermore, this policy change will take away the option of personalized feedback for students who actually do want to review their year-end work with their teachers. A meeting with a teacher going over a French exam could last 20 minutes or two minutes, but no honest conversation reviewing a student’s mistakes will happen if other students are around. Even for those classes that feel comfortable discussing the results of their final exam or final project together, ten minutes is not enough time to accomplish anything significant, as we have learned this year with the highly ineffective 12-minute break periods. Most likely the classes on this day will solely involve yearbook signing and discussions of summer plans.
We hope that these new policies will be reversed once the administration sees how the elimination of the 24-hour rule creates undue stress and chaos for students this May and how the addition of a final day of School wastes time and prevents students who want to review their year-end work in-depth with teachers from doing so.