The “Full Marking Period” Experience

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The “Full Marking Period” Experience

Olivia Lein

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Editor’s Note: The following is an opinion piece.

Being a high school student, especially in a school district as innovative and advanced as the Pascack Valley Regional School District, one must be open- minded to change. Last year, students welcomed our new “block periods” and Pascack Period with open arms, unknowing of the next big modification our school was about to embark on.

This year, PVRHSD said hello to what is considered a “full marking period.” In the past, students had four quarters throughout the year, with midterms and final exams. With this current “full marking period,” however, the year is just one ongoing marking period.

With this change, there is no longer marking period cutoffs, no administration of midterm or final exams, and a weighted grade book comprised of each grade from the beginning, all the way to the end of the year.

Having experienced both last year’s split marking periods and this year’s “full marking period,” I learned that it is much more difficult to boost your grades if need be, with the present system in place. With the hundreds of grades in this weighted grade book, each grade is ultimately worth (what feels like) .01 percent of your final average. If you get a poor grade in the beginning of the year, it is a lot harder to get that grade back up, even if you get exceptional marks on your following tests.

“With all the grades in this weighted grade book, I haven’t been able to increase my grades as much as I would like, as I started off the year with a few low grades in certain classes,” said sophomore Hailey Baum. “With marking periods, like last year, there is more of an opportunity to start over.”

Last year’s four marking periods allowed students to start fresh and improve in the following quarters. There were also more chances for students to make honor roll, as they had four opportunities to do so. This year, however, there are only two occasions where grades for honor roll are collected: the middle and end of the school year.

Students at Pascack Hills are widely accustomed to studying for midterms and finals. Since there is no distinct middle of the year, midterms and finals are supposed to be extinct. There are positive aspects of the no exam notion, considering large tests bring severe anxiety and stress to most teens, and teachers have to spend valuable class time helping students prepare, both of which will no longer be an issue. However, some worry that no midterms or finals in high school could hinder test-taking skills for students in the future.

Sophomore Taylor Ramasco said, “Having no final or midterm exams is a bit unrealistic. Most colleges and universities administer and require students to participate in midterms and finals, which is why I think it is necessary to practice having exams in the middle and at the end of the year.”

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