Midterm Madness: by Eve Brown-Ryder

This year’s midterm/final schedule will occur over three days rather than the usual four.

7:50-9:359:45-11:301:00-2:45
1-23-19Period APeriod DPeriod G
1-24-19Period BPeriod EPeriod H
1-25-19Period CPeriod FMakeup

In order to provide a rounded view of this hot button issue, three parties, all with separate views, were interviewed.

The first interviewee was Mr. Adamakos, who explained that the issue arose out of high schools not getting the required 990 hours they need to make the school year official. High school principals were tasked with coming up with a way to get to the required amount of time and there were three ways they could have done it. The first way they could have resolved the issue was by giving students a 15 minute lunch. That was ruled out because lunches are a part of the bell schedule. The second possible resolution was to remove the five built in snowdays that are currently incorporated into the school year. However, built in snow days are a part of teacher contracts district-wide. The only option left was to make exam days, midterms and finals, longer in order to meet the 990 hour requirement.

The next person who was interviewed was a senior at Memorial. This student feels that the new schedule is hard on students and teachers alike and that it came without much notice or preparation. The interviewee is dissatisfied with the 90 minute break between blocks two and three. Even though lunch will be served at the school during this time period, the intended purpose for the break is to allow students to take advantage of the open campus and drive home or somewhere else to get lunch. Although it seems great in theory, this senior points out that not everyone has a car or a way to leave the school and for them it makes it hard to prepare for the next day in the madness of the cafeteria. More broadly, though, this student just feels that the whole thing is impractical. Test blocks are 105 minutes long, which leads teachers to make a longer exam. Not only is up to three 105 minute tests in one day a lot on a student, but it ends up being a lot on the teachers because it requires more things to be graded in a shorter period of time, which in turn impacts the amount of time they can spend with each test.

The final viewpoint comes from a Memorial teacher. This teacher has mixed feelings about the new schedule but generally likes it because the rules allow students to advocate for themselves and receive their test on a different day. However, it is a very demanding schedule and if it were not for the ability of students to speak up, this teacher would be opposed.

In all, change is neither easy nor enjoyable. Whenever something new happens, whether it be a new midterm schedule, or moving to a new house, there is no way to please everyone. Mr. Adamakos asks that students try to tolerate it because no matter how many petitions are created, there is no other way to achieve the required number of hours. Regardless of what one may think, it is essential to respect and honor everyone’s feelings, actions, and opinions and to see all the many sides to the same story.

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