Waive Senior Project Requirements at Narragansett High School

Waive Senior Project Requirements at Narragansett High School

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Class of 2020 started this petition to Narragansett School System Administration

Thirteen years ago, the students of the class of 2020 sat in our kindergarten classes just getting to know each other for the first time. We were young and eager, not knowing where these next years would take us. Our teachers informed us of our graduation year. None of us really even knew what graduation was but it seemed like that year of 2020 was an eternity away. Twelve years later, and that year had finally come. Seniors everywhere were excited for the fall and the year where all of our hard work would finally be worth it. We were excited for our last tailgates and football games on Friday nights. Senior athletes were excited for late-night games under the lights in our athletic facility. Then, the Triple E virus struck, canceling those events we were so ready for. The class of 2020 almost accepted this virus as a minor inconvenience and we moved on, as it went away quickly and we were mostly just ready for the spring. The second semester of Senior year is iconic in that it is relatively the same for all seniors. It's a time to relax and reflect on the last chapter of your life and practically all you had ever known. It's a time to figure out who you are and who you want to be because, at the end of the summer, most of us are off on our own separate paths. We didn't know it was our last day of school and we didn't get to say goodbye to all we were familiar with. It feels like we did not get enough time and we'll never get it back. Not being in school has not only robbed us of the last moments we will have with some of the people we have known for our whole lives, but the events students look forward to all of high school. I had been waiting to go to Spain since I took Spanish 1 in 8th grade. I dreamt of what it would be like to be on the streets of a European country after studying the language for so long. Unfortunately, we never got to go. On top of that, all of the senior activities like assassins and skip days are impossible when we can't go in public and there isn't a school day to skip. We may not get to wear a shirt with our chosen college on them to college decision day. It may seem like a small thing, but to us is a day to show that everything we did these past years paid off. We may not have the banquets we were waiting for, to dress up with our classmates and receive the recognition we deserve after working so hard for four years. We may not have that "we did it" moment standing on a stage in front of a crowd full of our family members and the community. We may not get to be handed a diploma, that one slip of paper that proves that everything we have worked for over the past 12 years meant something. We may not get to throw our caps in the air and cheer as we saw classes before us do, finally closing this chapter of our life. My grade, the class of 2020, is who I have spent the past 10 plus years of my life with. They are my comfort zone and my friends. I may not be close with every single one of my classmates, but I wanted this time with them to create those last memories together before we grow up and go chase our own dreams. We lost this time together and all the special moments that came with it, but kept the work of senior year. Every day we are expected to get up as we sit in our beds and complete online work. On top of that, we still have the pressures of the Senior Project. We are well aware that the school is working hard to make accommodations for each student, but honestly, that isn't enough. We are lost and scared of where to go. We don't know how to do this alone. But more importantly, the world is in crisis and there is panic everywhere. Harvard University, a top ivy league, switched all grades to pass/fail because they cannot expect the best work from their students at a time like this. I think this applies to the class of 2020 as well because the added stress of the project has made us all anxious and honestly is not good for our mental health. We are under immense pressure and the events that are supposed to take this pressure away are all gone. In addition to this, the Rhode Island High School Graduation requirements state that all students need to complete ONE performance-based diploma assessment which includes: Graduation Portfolio, Student Exhibitions, Senior Project, or a Capstone Product. Narragansett High School requires two of these assessments while the state requires one. The majority of the class of 2020 at NHS have finished their Graduation Portfolios already, which counts as one of these tasks. Finally, most of the projects have been heavily affected due to corona and have to change completely. Students are asked to salvage what they have and create something else, but that can be very difficult when doing something new. I feel as though with all things considered, especially the mental health of students of the class of 2020, the Senior Project requirements at Narragansett High School should be waived. At a time like this, added stress and requirements are unnecessary. Students should be focusing on staying healthy and safe with their families instead of frantically creating a project and having nothing to look forward to. In a typical year, I would still be stressed out about my project. But I would be surrounded by classmates going through the same thing and teachers ready to lend a helping hand. Also, I would have a wonderful stress release through sports and all the senior activities. Everything would balance out. However, it feels like everything is on the other side of the scale against us. It’s unbalanced and in a time of crisis, that is not remotely conducive to the welfare of the class of 2020. Please sign this if you agree.

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