GBHS Final Exams made Optional

GBHS Final Exams made Optional

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Hayden Quinn started this petition to Grand Blanc High Administration

It can be unanimously argued that the Senior Class of 2021 has had an untraditional year filled with uncertainty, trauma, stress, and disappointment. Navigating our way through our last year at Grand Blanc High School has been memorable, but not in the most positive ways. We ask in this petition that we end the year on a more positive note - one that will take some stress out of the ending that is already intimidating for many of us. Everyone who has signed this petition has agreed and asks that final exams are optional with the exception that students take an exam if they are failing a class or would like to to improve their grade in the class. 


Firstly, with the many quick changes in schedules throughout the course of the year, we’ve struggled to find balance in our lives, along with completing the extra workload due to changes in curriculum. With three hours a day for three weeks, content had to change in order for it to fit within the year. Much of our curriculum was cut, or taught quicker than in normal years. Most times it involved cramming lessons, more homework, and even taking on assignments on our off-weeks, which for many of us, was impossible. Balancing three classes at a time may have seemed to be an option that would allow us to focus, but it appeared no different than having six classes with outside activities. Learning to take on all six hours with little warning was a stressful change in our lives, one we needed more time to get ready for. While switching to the current schedule was the best option for time, teachers are still struggling to fit the rest of their content in - leaving some students with classes unfinished, and worse, AP students left to self-study for units that will still be on the exam. 

Secondly, while cases are dropping after a recent large rise, exposures are still high, and so are positivity rates, leaving many students (hundreds in the past week) remote for their last days in school. These students who are on the current remote schedule - which doesn’t allow for microphone or camera for questions - creates a limited environment for students, even with remote assistance time from 1:15-2:15. As a result, many students are far behind in their classes, and are terrified that finals will be detrimental to their grade. 


Third, the timing of the end of the year for testing and student events is crammed and burdensome. During midterms, we were on a consistent schedule. This doesn’t undermine the fact that students were stressed, but this semester is significantly worse - especially for AP students. AP Students who are taking exams are already planning to spend time after their school year has ended studying. It would be much easier for these students to only have to focus on one exam rather than two per AP class. Besides, many AP teachers already do not give an exam to students who are taking the AP exam, so why not make exams optional for everyone else? 


Fourth, we want to be able to prioritize our mental health, which for many of us has been a challenge with our current schedules. Seniors last year undoubtedly had a different experience than we have currently, however they were given the opportunity to end their schooling for the last portion of their year. We are fortunate to be able to attend school in person for the time, but the trauma that many of us have experienced in recent weeks makes these last days of our year incredibly difficult, and just exhausting. Many of us feel disregarded. Keeping focus is a trek.


This feeling of disregard has been prominent for a large portion of our year in regard to events that are important to many of us, such as prom and graduation. We have rarely been asked for our opinions on changes to events that include us (we were asked for preferences for prom, but it was later canceled), and our numerous requests for a graduation together as a class, in a safe outdoor environment, were rejected. While we appreciate the effort put into the current graduation, many of us worked hard to make positive change for senior events linked with the school, and feel as though it has gone towards nothing. We have created events of our own for many of these issues that weren’t granted for us, but exams can’t be one of them. 


It has undoubtedly been a stressful and unforgettable year for the entire student body and staff given the start to the year, the cancellations and trauma throughout, as well as the dire uncertainty of how the rest of the year will look for us. We ask that we don’t have to add on to this stress with final exams, as many of us have worked tirelessly throughout the year just to keep up grades and decent mental health. Allowing us to not take exams, or take them if needed, would relieve a lot of stress for us and give us the opportunity to have a more positive ending to our senior experience, something that we all need a little more of during these times, and something that we deserve. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!