Mt. Greylock Cancels Midterms

Photo+Courtesy+of+The+Miami+Herald+

Photo Courtesy of The Miami Herald

Julius Munemo, Staff Writer

In a recent email to the student body and their parents, Principal Mr. Schutz and Vice Principal Mr. Shebar outlined several updates to the school’s changing itinerary. The fifth item on the list was the announcement that midterms will be canceled this year.

The decision leaves room for semester courses to hold “finals,” but eliminates the possibility for year-long courses to have midterms of any kind. On the two days typically allotted for midterms January 19th and 20th, there will now be two reading, advisory, or directed study days.

“I think it’s good that they canceled them,” Senior Will Starenko said. “Students this year already have a lot on their plate, so it’ll be a good thing to give them a little break from all that stress.”

He’s not alone in this opinion. Freshmen twins Lex and Ava Anagnos were both pleased by the announcement to cancel what would have been their first set of midterms. 

“I think that given the stresses caused by remote and hybrid life it’s good to have a break from midterms,” Lex Anagnos said. 

 Ava Anagos said, “I just feel it would be unnecessary to add stress to an already chaotic year.” It seems like stress is on the minds of upperclassmen and freshman alike, showcasing the validity in the administration’s decision. However, this doesn’t mean the choice is unilaterally praised.

“To be frank,” said, “I would have rather they let the students just get two extra days and have a little extra mental health time. A lot of colleges are doing that nowadays and I think it’s a better move, but I also understand the administration has to get enough school days in for the year.”

Lex Anagnos, on the other hand, said, “If we just went home, that’d be two more days we’d need to complete in the summer.” 

Ava Aganos said that she is “definitely glad that the two days in January are set to be half days. I think it will be relieving to have a chance to catch up on work during school hours.”

Schutz’s announcement also revealed that semester-long courses could have finals if the teachers were so inclined. These exams will be given during the regular school week in class. 

Mr. Polidoro, head of the math department, said, “I think the decision to cancel midterms makes a lot of sense.”

“Students today know how to take cumulative tests. You’ve been practicing MCAS, SATs, and final exams for years now. This year is unique. Missing one season of midterms won’t hurt the least bit. It won’t affect my classes, I don’t put much weight in cumulative assessments to begin with.”

Mr. Polidoro thinks that this announcement may be indicative of future midterm plans: “A more organic project based or portfolio based midterm and final assessments would be more in line with what colleges and employers are actually expecting.” 

It shouldn’t be surprising to know that students are enthused by the idea of non-traditional testing. Starenko agreed that less restrictive testing would have enriched his high school experience. 

“Something like a field trip. Maybe sledding. Instead of a midterm.”

“Anyone can learn facts and recite them on a test,” Mr. Polidoro said. “It takes a real learner to be able to explain what they know and then apply it.”