December is always a hectic time where students are desperately trying to maintain their number of absences and turn in every project they can in order to bump up their grades. Students are acting in such a hurried and drastic fashion because of the chance to be able to exempt some dreaded upcoming exams.
At Starr’s Mill, as long as the student is taking seven classes in the building, they have two options for exemptions. Path one is that students can exempt up to three courses (not Milestone or AP) if they have a 95 or above. The alternative path is that students are allowed to exempt one exam if they have no more than five absences and at least a 73 in the class.
I feel that only giving students the “either-or” option on the exams they can exempt is actually hurting instead of helping them.
If students want to exempt more than one class and know that they can get at least a 95 in said classes, then they will be inclined to take path one. Now, while this is a good thing, knowing that if they choose to go down this path they cannot select the absence option, they will feel less worried about missing school.
Yes, they will be focusing more on keeping their grades up, which is a good thing. However, this could result in the student missing more days of school.
The same method applies if the instances are switched. If students know that they will most likely not make a 95 or above in a class but are terrified of taking the final exam in a fear of it dropping their GPA even more, they will take path two.
These students can feel more inclined to not miss more than five days of school rather than keeping such a high grade in the class, since the requirement is only a 73 compared to a 95.
By making both of these exemption options available, students will not value one thing or the other, but instead work harder in maintaining their high As while simultaneously making sure that they miss fewer days of school.
Why would the school board not want to do something that would benefit the workload and work ethic of their own students? If we work hard enough, why should students not be able to choose an option that would aid them in every way?
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