Students, staff race toward finals before holiday break

It’s the time most high school students dread, and it’s coming earlier than the years past. What it is: Finals. Finals come twice a year and both times they are equally stressful and time-consuming. Late night study sessions, books and notes scattered all across the floor and tables, and students trying to work in the time to study with everything else in their busy lives such as work, extracurricular activities, regular school hours and the other piles of daily homework that teachers assign.

Finals are not just a stress topic and event for students, but also for teachers and staff. This year due to getting out early on multiple occasions due to heat, teachers have had to adjust a lot of their lesson plans and schedules to make sure that they have students, and themselves, ready for finals.

“Any early out drastically affects [lesson plans],” Spanish teacher Monica Jarchow said regarding how the early outs due to heat affected her and her classes. “[It’s hard] keeping sections on the same days and material.”

However, with finals being the two days before winter break for the first time ever, are teacher’s lesson plans being severely affected and are they in favor of it? There’s a good mix of teachers that are in favor of the final days and some that are not.

Jarchow said that she is very much in favor of finals being before winter break. “It’s a good place to stop and a good place to start something new [when we come back after break].”

English teacher Scott Lawrence-Richards is not in favor of the semester ending before winter break for two reasons. “First in part, the students have added time to study and catch up [during break],” Lawrence-Richards said. “Second, in part of me, I don’t have time to manage [and catch up]. I used to take research papers home and read them over break.”

In addition to the early outs and early finals, classes have been a lot shorter, by about 10 minutes. With the shortened class periods, students and teachers are losing around 18 periods worth this semester, along with first semester having two days less than second semester. With those shortened periods, “I’ve had to abbreviate the assignments due to time and [the loss of a] winter cushion,” Lawrence-Richards said.

Finals are set for next week on Dec 19 and 20. The first day will cover courses scheduled during periods one through four, and the second is set for periods five through eight.


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