Illustration by Chelsea Lam

District’s incomplete policy only adds more work for students

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The district is dedicated to promoting the Incomplete Policy, where students are given extra time to finish required coursework from the previous semester to make up a failing grade. However, due to the difficulties of distance learning that leaves many students already struggling, this policy needs to be adjusted based on students’ personal challenges and the additional amount of work transferred to the next semester. 

During the time available for students to make up work, they may come across personal problems relating to family, health, or other circumstances. Because the pandemic has affected many, students are now obligated to take on more responsibilities such as caring for younger siblings or taking on jobs. No one can predict when these problems will be resolved, and giving extra time to catch up on work would not solve this issue but instead leave students more overworked. 

With more work given, many students often struggle to balance new lessons with what they missed in the previous semester. By missing fundamental lessons from the previous semester, consequences eventually build up and one will only find themself further behind from the new material. If one was struggling in the first semester, it is evident that one will continue to struggle, especially with an excessive workload. 

Many may oppose changing the system because the district is already generous and lenient in offering more time to finish late assignments and make up a failing grade. However, combined with the additional lack of motivation and support, the policy is not suitable for learning online. Aside from the short class time schedule, students must also gain motivation to plan and organize their schedule to complete work with an environment possibly riddled with others. As everyone begins to adapt to distance learning, there is difficulty especially for students who perform better in the traditional in-person learning environment. 

The district needs to note that not all students have the luxury of simply focusing on school, especially during a pandemic. Some may face unavoidable circumstances, and additional overlapping workloads do not make it any easier. Instead of enforcing a policy during the school year, the district needs to offer additional opportunities outside of class. This can include summer school, which is different compared to if a student continued their workload during the school year. Such opportunity would be efficient in giving students more time to actually learn and accurately complete the material.

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