LHS SENIOR EXAMS MADE OPTIONAL

LHS SENIOR EXAMS MADE OPTIONAL

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Kara Sparrow started this petition to Students

The Senior Class of 2021 has had an unusual year filled with confusion, trauma, tension, and disappointment, according to all accounts. Our senior year at Lapeer High School has been memorable, but perhaps not in the best way. In this petition, we ask that we end the year on a more optimistic note, one that will relieve some of the tension that many of us are already feeling as the year draws to a close. All who have signed the petition agree that final exams should be optional, with the exception that students should take an exam if they are failing a class or want to increase their score.


To begin with, we've struggled to find consistency in our lives as a result of the many abrupt shifts in schedules during the year, as well as completing the additional workload imposed by curriculum changes. Most of our program was omitted or taught at a faster pace than in previous years. This meant cramming classes, doing more homework, and even taking on more tasks during our off-weeks, which for all of us was a nightmare.


Learning to take on all six hours with little notice was a stressful shift in our lives that required further preparation. Although, we are all aware that moving to the current schedule was the most time-efficient choice, teachers are still squeezing in the rest of their material, leaving some students with unfinished classes and, worse, AP students forced to self-study for units that will still be on the test.


Secondly, even though the number of cases is declining after a recent spike, exposures are still high, as are positivity rates, leaving many students (hundreds in the last week) isolated for their final days of school. Students that are on the remote schedule have limited opportunities to receive help. As a result, many students are at a disadvantage and are terrified that the exams will be detrimental to their grades. 


Third, the end-of-year testing schedule and student activities are crammed and burdensome. We had a consistent schedule during midterms. This isn't to say that students weren't stressed before, but this semester is much worse - particularly for AP students. Exam-taking AP students have already planned to spend time studying after the school year has finished. It would be much easier for these students to focus on their already paid for exams. Furthermore, most teachers do not offer exams to students who are taking AP exams, why not make exams optional for everyone else?  


Fourth, we want to be able to put our mental health first, which has been difficult for many of us due to the multiple changes in our schedules. Undoubtedly, last year's seniors had a very different experience than we do now. We are grateful to be able to go back to school in person for the time being, but the ordeal of switching between remote and in-person has made the last few months of our school year extremely stressful and exhausting. Many of us feel disregarded. It takes a lot of effort to stay focused.


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. Although we appreciate the effort put into the current graduation and prom activities, many of us worked tirelessly to make meaningful changes for senior events associated with the school and now feel as if our efforts have gone toward nothing. As a result, 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. 


Given the start of the year, the cancellations and trauma throughout, as well as the desperate uncertainty about how the remainder of the year will look for us, it has certainly been an unforgettable and traumatic year for the entire student body and staff.

We request that final exams not add to this tension, as many of us have worked hard during the year just to maintain good grades and mental wellbeing. Allowing us to skip exams or take them if necessary will alleviate a lot of stress for us and allow us to have a more optimistic conclusion to our senior year, which we all need a little more of and something that we deserve. 

 

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