A Petition for Darien High School to Reconsider Its Decision to give Midterms

A Petition for Darien High School to Reconsider Its Decision to give Midterms

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Petition to
Darien High School

Why this petition matters

Started by Tripp Lyons

Darien High School today announced its intention to proceed with Midterm Examinations next week and the following week. I on behalf of my fellow DHS students and the parents of our community respectfully urge the administration to reconsider this decision for multiple reasons that I shall explain in this petition.

The COVID-19 pandemic is currently raging throughout the Darien school system. Currently, there are 31 cases of COVID that have been identified according to an email sent by the DPS Director of Nursing on Monday, January 3rd, 2022. This number, while alarming in its own right, likely has and most likely will continue to increase as days go by and as the rapidly contagious Omicron variant spreads. These students who test positive for COVID will be required to stay home from school and learn remotely.

This fact creates a risk for students to have to worry about as they battle with the already large pressures of exams. On top of studying, students will constantly be concerned about testing positive and having to wait to take various exams, despite the rigorous amount of studying that they will have already done. The result of a positive test will force students to delay their exams by at least five days, but potentially more depending on the severity of the case. This will also impact the beginning of the second semester as students who have Covid during the testing period will have to make up their exams that they miss upon returning to school. For many students, they will begin new courses and could possibly miss one of the early classes of their new courses.

The new Vision of the Graduate that DPS recently adopted and introduced to us on December 21st during Advisory calls on members of our school community to exhibit empathy. The document reads that “understanding other people’s experiences will enable you to form meaningful relationships and empower you.” The students of DHS are currently dealing with the health, social, and emotional effects of the pandemic and each person has had their own experiences with the pandemic. The Administration should show empathy to the students and understand what we are going through on a daily basis as we live through a deadly pandemic and a new spike in cases that makes the environment of midterms unpredictable and causes an increase in anxiety.

The new schedule for midterms that just was revealed this evening wrecks havoc on the students with IEP and 504 Accommodations. These students have begun to take initiative and made individual plans with their teachers. These plans are now worthless as the schedule has completely changed. For example, a student with an IEP or 504 could have arranged to take a midterm period 1 and use extended time during Period 2 because they did not have an exam during Period 2. That plan now does not work because the schedule runs on odd periods one week and even periods the next week, which was only announced at 5:48 PM Wednesday, January 5th, 7 days before the beginning of midterms. Students with IEPs or 504 Plans now have to scramble to make new plans with a brand new schedule.

Several other high schools in the state have decided to cancel midterms. This includes New Canaan High School. Darien High School should follow because of the health situation that is currently and quickly evolving. We respectfully request that the decision to proceed with midterms be reconsidered.

1,475 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!