School experiments with new finals schedule

Pilot program’s success depends on ‘trust,’ Bitting says

School experiments with new finals schedule

Remmington Moeller, Staff Reporter

Beep. Beep. It’s 6 a.m. and the alarm goes off. Not even four hours ago you were up studying, cramming for that math final, memorizing all the formulas, theorems, and rules under the sun. By the grace of caffeine, maybe you’ll make it through the day–let alone ace that final exam.

Finals week. The bane of every high school student’s existence. Between the mounds of study guides, lack of sleep, and impact final exams have on grades, the week of finals can be a week of stress. However, with a new finals schedule coming to CHS this semester, administrators hope to make the stressful week a little more manageable.

The new schedule allows for a “Student Success Time” during the last three days of finals. Each morning students will be free to come in and study for exams at school or alternatively stay back and prepare for exams at home.

Should students choose to come in during the Student Success Time, buses will still run as normal and classrooms will be open for students to float between.

“All teachers are going to be in their rooms, ready to help students, so if you want to meet with a group of students in your English class and do a review session; fantastic. That teacher will be there to help you out,” said Brandon Bitting, principal of CHS.

In previous years during finals week there were set review periods for each class. The problem many students encountered; however, was that time set aside for one class could have been better spent studying for a different class. Thus Bitting hopes the new schedule allows students to pick and choose where their time is best spent studying.

The new schedule also allows students to use that morning review time to stay home and sleep in, if that is what suits them and their needs best.

“Some students I know are better to study late at night and then sleep in in the morning. If that’s the best decision…for their preparation–great,” said Bitting. “The end result is to give students and families the opportunity to do what’s best for them…to perform the best they can come the final.”

Mr. Bitting has been exploring alternative final schedules ever since he came to Carroll. He ultimately found this schedule to not only give students flexibility, but also ease some of the common stressors that come with finals week.

“I really felt like this schedule provided some options and alleviated some of what I saw were the challenges or stressors for students at that time,” he said.

While the new schedule brings about positive change during such a stressful week, the logistics rely heavily on the trust extended out to students.

“This is a pilot. To make or break this is really going to be based upon the behaviors of the students and how well they utilize it,” said Bitting. “If things don’t work out and it doesn’t go as I hoped, we may never do it again. It’s really all based upon the trust I’m going to put in the students.”