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Finals: Fair or Fatal?

By Jada Seto

Over the past few months during this pandemic, the way people go about their day has dramatically shifted. From socially distancing to having to take extra safety precautions for people's well-being, this new way of life has changed the way everyone conducts day-to-day activities. For students and faculty, all have shifted over to remote learning as deemed by the district, which has created a new environment of learning. With the technology provided by the schools, students have all been able to stay connected with teachers, friends, and other members of the New Hyde Park community. Although many of the faculty have chosen not to use videos to conduct classes, students have still been provided the ability to ask questions or for help through emails and through Remind.

As the year is concluding, students have been assigned final project assessments rather than testing. For each department and classes, they were given an outline or choice board that would incorporate topics learned this year by creating videos, letters to teachers, or even doing a full class presentation to others. This method of learning allowed students to be more creative and to reflect on the topics learned this year, as well as work with classmates that they have not seen since the beginning of quarantine.

Some could say that this could prepare students for college and time management, but others found it stressful and felt bombarded by work...”

“I was happy to be able to work with my friends again once more because although we can talk on the phone, working on schoolwork together allows me to be productive and have an enjoyable end of the year assignment,” said junior Rafia Ahmed.

However, some people did not like the fact that the work assigned was all due during the same week. Students had to juggle deadlines as well as keep track of the “checkpoint” dates for some projects. For example, a Spanish 4A class had to submit portions of a project every few days, but an English final only had one deadline. Some could say that this could prepare students for college and time management, but others found it stressful and felt bombarded by work. In addition, those who were not able to submit their AP tests successfully had to keep studying up until the first week of June while also working on their 6+ final projects.

“I feel that final projects could be summed up in one word: okay. They sometimes didn’t make sense and some didn’t have the most interesting options. Nevertheless, they were pretty easy for the most part and I ended up getting good grades,” said sophomore Stephanie Ragusa.

In another perspective, people were able to show their skills outside of the particular subject and incorporate skills that wouldn’t have been able to be shown through a test. Although testing has been the standard way to encapsulate all the topics that are learned throughout a year, experiencing online learning and having the time to create final projects is different and allows one to see all the opportunities that students and faculty can implement to gear learning into a new direction.


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