Reconsideration of Midterm Exams
Reconsideration of Midterm Exams
Why this petition matters
Below is the letter that will be sent to the Board of Education and the Administration of NBHS. Sign the petition if you agree with the statements below.
I am writing on behalf of the North Branford High School student body for the academic year 2021-2022 regarding our midterm exams scheduled for the week of January 16th. We as lifelong students in the North Branford Public School system would like to voice our opinion regarding our midterm exams and the impact, they have on us as students; both mentally and physically. We appreciate your undivided attention to this matter.
As students who have experienced the pandemic and its lasting effects in past, current, and future years on our education and academic future we strongly believe that midterm exams as designed are an improper evaluation of our academic abilities at this time. In March of 2020, our academic future changed drastically, and new ways were adopted and integrated into our schooling. We were sent home for distance learning and did not return to the building until the following school year with adapted policies and ways of learning. In that academic year of 2020-2021 when we returned to school, exams were foregone as many students were remote, quarantined, or struggling with the lasting impacts of the pandemic.
Moving forward through our academic years, in this school year, many students have never experienced taking an exam at the high school level and do not feel they are prepared due to circumstances out of our control. Students in school can be sent home for quarantine at any time and be expected to learn all material through google classroom posts and without zoom calls to learn the material properly during scheduled class time, but these students are expected to take their exam regardless of their return date from quarantine or isolation. With the unequal learning experience per student, it creates a way for an advantage for students who did not miss any classes due to quarantine. After exam week is over, classes will be moving on and continuing with the material but if a student is out during exam week due to quarantine, we are under the impression that we are required to schedule a 2 hour make up period to take the exam so that we will receive a grade.
As of January 5th, 2022, the Connecticut positivity rate for COVID cases is at 20.7% as found on mayoclinic.org websites’ tracking map. With the upsurge in covid cases, many teachers are not present in class, and students are not actively learning or reviewing the material to prepare for exams due to the absence of our teacher.
Some seniors have stated that they were extremely stressed out for midterm and final exams for their freshman year and their midterm exams sophomore year which at the time did not include any additional stress or anxiety from the pandemic. Now in our current state, many of these students have expressed that they are stressed and anxious even more than they were the first time when taking exams, especially with the extreme absence of teachers prior to exams. As many seniors are in the application process for college and many of us have been accepted and may have even committed; but the uncertainty of learning this year leads to a risk of our acceptance being revoked from our dream schools.
Many other students have expressed their feelings about exams as unprepared, stressed, and anxious. The freshman and sophomore classes have not taken exams and with the uncertainty of this school year, we do not believe this is the year for them to take their first exam. Juniors have taken one set of exams and with this being one of their most important academic school years, we also see it unfit for them to take exams.
Throughout our years of school, we have been taught to not cram our material and to properly study for our exams. But now in this time, we are struggling to properly study as our teacher and their teaching methods are often absent due to varied reasons. This, unfortunately, provides minimal support to students and creates a decline in their mental health and physical well-being. We often need a good night’s sleep before exams but due to the improper timeline for preparing we are forced to study late hours after working or participating in sports and even complete current coursework homework and other material.
Many surrounding schools, such as Lyman Hall and North Haven High School have announced that they have canceled midterm exams this year. Guilford High School and Branford High School have also recently announced a significant change in their approach to exams for this year. As gathered by an email sent to families of GHS, they are assessing their students with an end-of-quarter exam or project which reduces the impact on student grades instead of a true midterm exam.
With all the provided reasons and evidence, we the students of NBHS would greatly appreciate the consideration of foregoing exams or figuring out an alternative that benefits both students and teachers. We have created a petition where students and parents sign to show their agreement with the statements made in this letter. We thank you for your time and consideration and the constant efforts the town has made throughout our learning the past few years.
The NBHS 2021-2022 student body