Goodbye HOL, Hello Finals

Pentucket Juniors were furious when they found out that they would be taking finals this year. The HOL presentations that substituted finals junior year are now a thing of the past. The Class of 2016 has decided to take action by creating a petition to find a solution to this problem.

The petition was started by juniors Kelly Murray and Maddie Nelson, and they say the idea was initially discussed in their history class. To begin, they got permission from the administration. Mr. Evans said that the petition would need to include signatures from the majority of the class. Murray says that they were able to get signatures from 75% of the class, which is 130 students.

The petition addresses the fact that reverting back to finals “would ultimately affect our futures and academic potential.” Below are some of the points mentioned in the petition:

• “If we take our finals, our GPAs would inevitably drop. Regardless of the test grades it would impact our overall grade point average. These GPAs are what we will use next fall when we are applying to colleges.”

• “A vast majority of our class is enrolled in Advanced Placement courses. This being said, we have already completed our AP exams and feel as though a final would be repetitive and insufficient.”

• “Throughout junior year we have endured various standardized testing, and while it is necessary in many cases, we also feel that a creative expression of our knowledge would be beneficial in representing our overall academic development.”

• “Since our middle school years, we have been preparing for this Habits of Learning presentation, and ultimately, we have spent a lot of time and effort throughout the years creating individual projects. By omitting this presentation, we feel as though the one representation of our true individuality is being belittled and replaced by standardized tests.”

• “In the past few years, juniors have been promised the Habits of Learning in place of finals. We think this tradition has been not only effective, but enjoyed and valued by the class. It has been rumored that the following years will return to doing a different type of project so we feel as though us being in the in-between year puts us into a disadvantage of our GPA and overall representation of a class.”

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this change is that they waited so long to tell the student body. Junior Ethan Bridgewater says, “It is not fair that they are making us do finals when we weren’t expecting to have them to begin with.”

Tyler Evans, also a junior, was upset when he learned about the change. He says a lot of his classes “aren’t prepared to have finals.” Classes have fixated their curriculums around projects and presentations, expecting to have the HOL presentation at the end of the semester. Evans thinks that this year the ruled set in place for finals senior year should apply to the juniors. Juniors with a “B” average or higher in a class should be exempt from taking the final. He added that this should only apply this year because we were notified about finals on such late notice.

The petition was submitted May 29 and juniors Kelly Murray, Rachel Thibeau, and Laura Hardenstine met with Mr. Seymour on June 5.

In the meeting, Thibeau says, “He understood we wanted a creative project that explains who we are rather than a test, but obviously he can’t just get rid of finals.” Mr. Seymour claims he will encourage teachers to give a reflective project that shows what we learned in a creative way. He also said that they are thinking of establishing a senior project, something different than HOL, that will replace finals for seniors next year.

Thus, juniors, it’s time to start studying.