The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

2024 Prom
June 4, 2024

Opinion: The New Midterm Schedule is Unnecessary
Citation: License: No changes made to image.

Over the past weeks, students at MT have been sent into a frenzy over administration’s choice to hold a full day of school following midterm exams. While still about a month away, the stress is already compounding amongst students and teachers alike. Many are left wondering why the administration chose such a move. Are other districts doing this? 

According to a weekly email sent out by MT administration, the purpose of the new schedule is to provide time for “assessment in the morning and targeted support in the afternoon.” While no new material is to be given during class time, teachers, if opting out of the traditional midterm, will conduct their final projects during this time. Additionally, no assessments or assignments outside of class are allowed to be given to students.. 

So, my question is: what are we going to be doing during these classes? If we aren’t allowed to learn new material or take home assignments, how enriching will it be? Teachers may now have to come up with new material that is still educational.

After going through a lengthy hour-and-a-half test, students will have to carry through with a full school day. They can’t go home to study, or simply rest— instead they must sit through a school day of adjective classes. And don’t a vast majority of MT students already put in enough effort studying for these tests? 

With this new schedule, students are at a much higher risk of burnout, as there is now significantly less time for them to prepare for these exams and rest in between. While the new schedule provides for more time to potentially prepare for tests, the purpose cited by administration states that the periods following the midterms are not for studying for future midterms, but for catch-up work. Midterm exams are already one of the most stressful times in the school year, and the new schedule will only increase these levels of strain and pressure.  

A full day of school is simply unnecessary, considering that no unsolvable problems arose with the midterm schedule MT followed in previous years. The previous schedule allowed more freedom for the student body.  Additionally, the weight of midterm exams has doubled from 2.5 to 5%. The increase in weight will in turn increase pressure and stress for students, as this will add an incentive to perform well on midterms. 

What about the teachers, who previously had benefited from the downtime after midterms to grade the massive quantities of tests? They now have to watch and ‘enrich’ students through what, exactly? Are non-educational resources meant to still educate us? Instead, they are now glorified babysitters, when before they were offered the option to grade the tests and return them promptly.

One teacher, who will remain anonymous per request, stated that that they will be “…giving the students who have a project midterm that project, but for the rest of [the] students who do have a traditional midterm, [they] will be giving them some relaxing time that connects with the curriculum.” 

Additionally, an increase in stress for teachers is likely to occur. After the midterm period is over, teachers must immediately return to teaching and grading new content, while still presumably having to grade midterms on the side. This schedule will create a landslide of stress for teachers. 

This teacher also says that they believe the new schedule is “…layered on too thick” and that “people will be overwhelmed” because of it. 

While I could simply write an article about how I feel about this, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the large amount of student initiative regarding this issue. A petition created by an MT student, garnered more than 1,000 votes, and, although nothing came of it, it demonstrated just how motivated students are to change this schedule. If more than half of the student body at MT doesn’t want this new schedule, then why is it being instated?

Sophomore Sidney Gumiran believes that it is “…beneficial to get to go home after tests because many kids spend a large amount of time studying. They need the rest time to study and recover.” While this is only one voice from the student body, due to the large number of students who signed the petition, it is safe to say that a majority of students will agree with Gumiran’s voice on the matter.

So, what can Township administration do to ensure that students who are taking project-based midterms can complete theirs but also allow for students to go home and rest? I say we simply go back to the old schedule, as it posed no problems to students. Students who are taking project-based midterms can complete their projects in this hour-and-a-half time slot, since that is how much time they’re going to get anyway based on the new schedule. If we went back to the old schedule, students could go home, study, rest, and still complete their projects. 

Students and teachers alike have expressed concern about the new midterm schedule. With the increased risk for burnout, higher stakes for testing, and the decreased amount of grading time for teachers, the new schedule seems unnecessary. Going back to the old midterm schedule would allow for students to recuperate, teachers to grade their assignments and allow for project-based midterms to still occur. While instated to benefit students through more instructional time, does it truly serve that purpose? Or does it simply add more stress to students and teachers alike? This simply feels like another unnecessary change by the MT administration. 

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Anna Gail Mattson
Anna Gail Mattson, Staff writer
Anna Gail is a staff writer for The Township Times and is a sophomore at MT.

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