New assessment schedule aims to reduce student stress

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New assessment schedule

By Julia Heimlich, Circulation Manager

The start of a new school year often brings the start of stress, pressure and anxiety. But this year’s new testing policy could potentially override some of these tense feelings.

A new system was put into place this school year to try to regulate the number of tests given in a school day. Each department is only permitted to give out assessments on specific days of the week so that no student is able to have more than a few tests in a day. The policy only applies to tests, not quizzes or any other type of graded assignments.

According to Principal Joan Benz , a group of students from the the CHS Chat’s Character Education Committee felt students were stressed out by extensive amounts of homework and assessments. CHS leadership met this past summer to figure out a way to regulate the amount of homework in a particular area.

“It’s a strategic approach to helping students become more stress-free and able to concentrate on specific courses on specific days of the week,” Benz said.

Chemistry teacher James Nugent believes this approach will give a better handle on the harrowing anxiety familiar to many students.

“This system should help spread things out and reduce the overlap of tests between departments,” Nugent said. “Both should contribute to reducing student stress.”

Nugent does not believe the change will get in the way of teacher planning too much.

“Prior to this, teachers really had no clue what was going on in other departments,” Nugent said. “Often, I didn’t find out about multiple tests that a student or a given number of students had to take until the day or the day before they took my test.”

According to Modern World and U.S. History teacher Christine Carlson, a lot of her students spoke of feeling hectic and stressed last year due to the number of tests that were assigned to the same day.

“Students will feel relief the night before tests because of this new policy,” Carlson said. “However, I still discourage students from waiting to study until   the night before a test.”

Students have mixed feelings about the new rule.

According to sophomore Eric Russ, students in his Spanish class felt unprepared for a test planned for the following day. They asked their teacher to push it back a few days, but the teacher was not able to do so because of the new policy.

Sophomore Caryn Pasking feels that because quizzes are given more frequently than tests and bring about anxiety, the plan is not necessarily beneficial.

“Just because quizzes are small, it doesn’t mean that students don’t spend a good amount of time studying for them at night,” Pasking said. “If there are multiple quizzes in a day, the new policy doesn’t really help reduce stress on the student.”

Others find that the policy accommodates their needs.

“It’s easier to study intensively for two subjects than to skim over four subjects,” junior Lacy Findley said.

Benz understands that not every aspect of the system will be perfect.

“This is a pilot,” Benz said. “We will continue to do surveys on what is and isn’t working, so we can make changes again. We encourage students to express their opinions to show how to make CHS better.”