Limited school days are detrimental

Vy Nguyen, Staff Writer

The world is over. AP Exams? Possible failure. Dream school? A likely rejection. Mental health? Unstable. It seems that your continuity of academic success has met its end at erratic Wi-Fi, less teaching and a lack of test preparation. Some students attest that these adjustments alleviate virtual learning stressors; however, they are a detriment to students’ long-term academic performance. 

Superintendent Scott Brabrand, states that teachers may give a maximum of 60 minutes of homework weekly or 75 minutes for AP classes. While this limit is an investment in mental health, this constraint narrows the curriculum and is unfavorable for those enrolled in rigorous courses.

Despite the new optional assignments in the AP curriculum, the expectations for the AP Exams remain static, leaving students to navigate the steep slope of College Board standards. In order to obtain a college credit on the exam, they must not only regurgitate textbook facts, but they also must develop cogent arguments using the application of such facts. For instance, exams will not require a student to simply describe an event, but they will require the student to elaborate on an event’s long-term effects on an empire’s politics. 

 To make an integral study tool for the AP Exam optional means to make a student’s chances of succeeding on the exam optional. This success does not deserve to be optional; it should be necessary. 

Regardless of a family’s income, students rely on AP classes to reduce the required credits that must be earned in college, lowering college costs significantly. Through a lack of exam preparation, students risk the possibility of failing, and, therefore, losing their free credit— a severe loss for low-income households. 

In addition to lightening the workload, FCPS decided to remove Mondays. With the homework adjustment eliminating most of the out-of-class instruction, the shortened week eliminates 20 percent of in-class instruction. 

Some students find this workday conducive to virtual learning as it enables them to catch up on work, but Mondays should be applied to class instruction. With the extra day, not only will students receive additional education, but isolated students during quarantine will also value the opportunity to socialize. 

While the week should be filled with classes, FCPS should cancel classes on days of inclement weather. On a clear day, laptop users are still subject to poor connection; therefore, storms and blizzards will exacerbate those conditions. For those who live in affected areas, virtual schooling is inequitable since their connection could disappear during the school day. If a student faced this, they would miss opportunities to engage in discussions that could impact their grades. 

Although academia is limited, in the end, the academic growth of our high schoolers is the only thing being limited. The world may feel over, but that doesn’t mean our future has to feel over too.