Opt-in pass/no-credit grades available for first semester

Schedule to stay the same during finals week


Oliver Smith

Sophomore Henry Eaton does make-up work at the Oriole Study Nest Jan. 13. The Oriole Study Nest is open to all students.

Talia Lissauer

After a mix of reactions when all students had their grades changed to pass/no credit for second semester last year, Interim Principal Wendy Loberg said students will be given the option this year. 

“A lot of kids were mad last year when they didn’t get the choice last year, they worked really hard to get their A’s and when they didn’t get it that was frustrating for them so I think choice is good,” Loberg said.

All students will have the option to change their grade from a letter grade to a pass/no credit, according to Loberg. Students may choose which classes they change the grading style for as long as a parent or guardian and the student sign off. 

According to sophomore Scarlet Gann, this is a useful way to support students struggling with online school because they can keep some classes away from their GPA. 

“It’s really helpful because I know some people who are really struggling with it, so having that option is really nice so (this semester is) not affecting your GPA,” Gann said. “I think it’s better to have that option, just in case you’re not doing well, because online school isn’t for everybody.”

Sophomore Denly Lindeman said he prefers the optional pass/no credit to the mandatory change last spring because a lot of students motivation stems from grades. 

“There was a bit of an issue where there was no incentive to work harder last semester, I mean if you get 105% that’s exactly the same as getting 65%. So that just did not give it any kind of an incentive to work. And I think there were a lot of people that just took the easy way out and just decided, ‘oh well (if) I don’t have to work, I’m not going to,’” Lindeman said.

With fail rates peaking across the country, Loberg said the higher fail rates at Park don’t exclude students who have decided to take the class as no-credit instead of dropping it. 

“I’ve talked to a lot of kids and some of them have said ‘you know what, I can’t handle seven full classes, I am going to stop doing this class.’ They didn’t drop the class, they are just getting no credit in it and they have just stopped doing it … Some kids are just having to find balance wherever they can so they are working with their counselors to do that,” Loberg said. 

In addition to temporarily altering the grading system, Park will keep the normal schedule during finals week instead of block scheduling as an additional way to support students. 

“There will be no final schedule, it is an option for teachers to give a final exam. If they have a final exam and it’s lengthy, they will have to do it over multiple days. We are not going to extend the hours to give these huge long tests,” Loberg said.

Gann said she believes sticking to a regular schedule through the rest of the semester will help relieve some stress from students. 

“When there was a final schedule those days that we had finals (they) were just so stressful for like a lot of people I know, including myself. Not having a schedule I think will be easier because each teacher will choose to do their own thing and I can just go with that,” Gann said.

While Lindeman didn’t feel additional stress from finals last year, he understands it can be a stressful time and believes it is good Park will be helping by keeping classes shorter.

“I never really got stressed out over finals last year. So I don’t think it’s gonna bother me too much personally, but I can see where there’s a lot of people that would be very stressed out by finals,” Lindeman said.