SPASH Students are Struggling


Image of grades from A to F taken from my survey on grades

Zach Anderson, Hour 1

The past couple of years have been rough on everyone due to the pandemic but it’s been especially harsh on high school students. It’s been tough because, during the past few years students have been taken away from the social aspect of school. Such as hanging out with friends or seeing and talking to teachers. The 2022-23 school year is the first year where the school environment is back to “normal”, meaning no more mandated masks and no more cohorts. This has been a difficult academic transition for a lot of students.

New policies

In a survey conducted of thirty nine students they all have relatively the same answers. The class that gives them the most struggles is Math, the reason being these new policies. When asked if they had any ideas on how to fix this they once again had similar answers. One answer being, to get a tutor or to get help and the other being they don’t know because they don’t care anymore. Most kids chose to not have a tutor.  A SPASH Junior, Abby Conklyn, confirmes that, “Most kids in school prefer to not have a tutor and just rather stick [the duration of the semester] out for the ride.” If there’s no positive outcome to your grade after failing tests anymore, what’s the point of still giving effort?

The core subjects such as: Science, Math, English and Social Studies have all adopted new policies regarding formative and summative grading. Formative assignments now have a bigger impact on a students grade with the percentages going from twenty percent formative and eighty percent summative to forty percent formative and sixty percent summative. 

However that’s not all that’s changed, test policies have also been altered. The biggest example of this negatively affecting student grades is in the math department. In any math class, if a student fails a test they do have the option to retake the test but there’s an eighty five percent grade cap making it practically impossible for students to better their grade. As a result of students not being able to make their grade much better after a failed test, they have started to give up.


The communication between a teacher and their students also plays a crucial role in a student’s success. In an interview with SPASH Junior, Lake Glodowski, when asked what the student to teacher communication problem is to him he states, “Teachers should try to make it more comprehensible rather than blaming it on the students.” This is in correlation to when a majority of students in Geometry and Algebra Two failed they’re most recent test and the students got blamed for it.

 Following up with the original question, there was the question if this communication problem has affected Lake personally at all and he claimed, “Yes because it makes it harder for students which leads the class to struggle. Everyone in class is affected. People that are succeeding are putting in more effort than they’ve ever had to.” This is referring to how Lake has seen this problem take effect in his own classes. Should the students that are succeeding have to put in so much effort just because fellow students don’t want to?

How the lack of effort and exert of effort combat

It’s clear that there’s two sides to this story. There’s the side where students have given up and no longer give effort into school, because of new policies and the loss of hope that once you fall behind there’s no catching back up. Then there’s the side that even though the class is struggling because of a lack of communication, there’s still students who give enormous amounts of effort, more than they’ve ever had to just to succeed and will always try to find ways to help themselves.