When students have more than two assessments a day, they can now reserve the right to move the third assessment to another day. Students and staff are working together to manage their schedules.
This new policy was put in place during the 2019-2020 school year. Previous to this rule, there were specific testing days for each department. After the testing day rule was removed, administration received feedback from students expressing that the daily workload was overwhelming.
Stress in schools is a common trend seen throughout the United States. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), 75% of American high schoolers described themselves as “often or always feeling stressed” by schoolwork. American teens rated their stress levels at an average score of 5.8 on a 10 point scale, where normal values for adults are 3.8. “It is alarming that the teen stress experience is so similar to that of adults. It is even more concerning that they seem to underestimate the potential impact that stress has on their physical and mental health,” APA CEO and Executive Vice President Norman B. Anderson said.
Although the policy was created in 2019, it was not until nearly halfway through the first quarter that it was enforced for the current school year. There are no specific guidelines for how to follow this rule; it is up to the student and teacher to negotiate what works best for them. “I think the skills of advocating for yourself and being aware of what’s on your calendar benefit students,” Principal Kimberly Boldon said.
When first created in 2019, teachers had a shared calendar where they posted days that their classes had tests. This was used for teachers to know when other classes would be having tests so they could decide when to schedule their own assessments. However, the use of the calendar has decreased since last year’s virtual schooling. “It can be very difficult to find time to move tests,” math teacher Eva O’Keefe said.
Freshman Emre Wright has rescheduled tests on days he’s had several assessments. “I think the rule is a really great way to help us manage all our classes. It’s been helpful on days I had multiple tests,” Wright said.
Sophomore Lizzie Misovec has used the rule before but not all of her teachers have been compliant. “I’ve asked to move a test before and been told no without much discussion, it was frustrating,” Misovec said.
Boldon advises students who feel they are not being given their right to move an assessment to talk with their counselor. “Ultimately we want students to have schedules and learning spaces they can manage,” Boldon said.