Time for a Fresh Start, Right?

Students express their strong feelings about midterms taking place after winter break

Freshman+Madelyn+Hamby+studies+for+her+finals+at+the+Cookies%2C+Cocoa+%26+Cramming+event.

Micki Morris

Freshman Madelyn Hamby studies for her finals at the Cookies, Cocoa & Cramming event.

Meghan Lynch, Reporter

For most people, the new year symbolizes a fresh start. However, students at LHS are cramming for the same finals they’ve been preparing for all semester. 

In the Wentzville School District, the second semester starts on Jan. 18, about two weeks after we get back from winter break. According to Dr. Kiely, it’s been this way since the 2019-20 school year, and they do it this way so that the first and second semester are the same number of days. 

“I believe it was to help with semester courses and ensure students had the same learning opportunities no matter which semester they had the course,” Kiely said.

Because the semester ends in January, that means that final exams are also in January. Students then have a choice to make: study over their much-needed break or start when they come back, possibly leading to extra stress and exhaustion. 

“You get thrown right back into school and you only have a week to prepare,” sophomore Kylie Brennan expressed. “That’s too much stress to put on someone who may already have a job or other things going on in their life.”

(From left to right) Makayla Mackey, Ella Pinz, and Imane Larhdiri cram for finals after school at StuCo’s study event. (Micki Morris)

Before break, students had already spent a great deal of time learning most of what’s on their finals, but with time off and a chance to step away from school, many students feel they forget what they previously had learned. Freshman Mak Barnes explained, “It takes a little while to remember stuff when I get back so it can get really overwhelming.”

Most students have expressed a strong dislike for the way finals are done at LHS. One student, freshman Charles Giraud, even went as far as to say, “It’s absolutely deplorable.”

On the other hand, a long break before finals can be beneficial for teachers and other staff members. 

“It’s nice to go back and take stock of how your students have been doing throughout the whole year so you can reevaluate what’s most important about your final,” English teacher Mr. Schaper said. However, he later added, “I can imagine as a student, you come back from break and instead of having a fresh start and a new semester you’re like ‘Oh wait, now I have this test that’s worth 15% of my grade.’”

Even teachers can understand how challenging this schedule can be for students and how the long break can interfere with our performance on these tests.

When should finals be?

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So what do you think? Is it nice to have finals after winter break and the holidays, or would you rather take the finals and end the semester before winter break?