Essay initiative linked to test prep

Sarah Petrone, Staff Writer

As if all the changes we have had to get used to this year weren’t enough, the administration has instituted a new policy requiring teachers of all classes except math to assign students to write one essay each quarter.  You may be wondering, “but what about electives? Do we have to write essays for physical education, art, and band?” Yes, that’s correct, an essay will be required even for electives.

According to the administration, the goal of this new requirement is to raise writing scores across the board as a part of our school improvement plan.

Many students have expressed resentment towards this new writing requirement because it is making their already heavy workload even heavier.

“I think that this new essay requirement thing is completely unnecessary,” freshman Ben Lack said. “It’s a waste of our time and our teachers’ time.”

However, many teachers, administrators, and even some students believe this initiative will benefit our school greatly. Students will have an extra opportunity to get a few extra points, which may mean the difference between an A and B, at the end of each quarter. Teachers and administrators are excited about the opportunity to further improve the school’s academic standing.

“Writing Across the Curriculum has been implemented because of the new FSA testing introduced this 2015 school year. The new test introduces a skill that we have never worked with before,” Assistant Principal of Curriculum Lisa Kratz said. “We decided that we would work as a team to introduce this new technique instead of placing the whole workload on the English department.”

The hope is that by the time FSA testing window arrives next spring, students will be well-prepared to take it.