Students say that cutting a senior year off will only induce more stress and make classes more compact.
“I think it’s really smart of them to separate it into different years of things that you are supposed to learn about,” said Lizzy Shaw, a senior at Griswold High School.
Lately, there has been some controversy in Helix, as well as world wide, over if schools should have a senior year, or drop it entirely, condensing the high school experience into just three years. One school district in Utah is thinking about making this decision, although its reasons for doing so are for budgetary reasons instead of academic ones.
At first glance, many students might be attracted to the idea of a condensed high school; considering that many teenagers complain about it. However many of Utah’s students have disagreed with the proposal. Many Helix students agree with them.
“High school is an important part of our lives and I think shortening it would take away from the high school experience,” says Sam Kubishta a Freshman at Griswold High School.
Similarly enough, Utah students have been saying the same argument. This would seem surprising to most, considering the backlash school usually gets from teenagers. “I know that there is some disdain from students, but I feel like it’s more targeted towards actually having to show up more than anything,” said Shaw.
It seems like the difference in grade levels doesn’t really matter towards the attitudes of high school students. Even after high school.
“I know that there are a lot of students who after graduating, stay home because they still don’t know what they want to do in life and I feel like that’s saying something,” said Shaw. It seems that high school students want/feel like they need that extra year in high school to succeed.
Recently, “The Oregonian” published a new article discussing this topic. The article explains that Oregon’s students who take standardized tests show that their math scores are declining, and Language Arts scores are stagnant. And many of the state’s data is unreliable due to many students simply skipping the test.
As a result, the Oregon Board of Education voted to loosen requirements for seniors in high school, which would mean fewer classes.
“I think that once we have gotten used to the change in pace that we can manage and even succeed in a three year schooling program," said Kubishta.
The board authorized many exemptions that let districts offer seniors who are “on track” to graduate with fewer classes; however, their local school boards need to agree for these changes to take place at the local level.
This is quite a change from the prior three years when the board stood strong with parents who protested the “part time” education that Portland was giving its students.
Despite the Oregon Board of Education’s decision, no known decision has been released from the Helix School District. It seems as if, for now, the education will remain the same, and students will continue to go through the “normal” four years of high school--exactly what most students want.