Are there retakes on this?

Last year, students became accustomed to “utilizing their resources” and doing more “collaborative work,” but with the in-person reopening, almost all of these online habits have diminished. The biggest remnant from online school has become a controversial topic among teachers and students: the retake policy.

The mandated retake policy is still in place, requiring teachers to verify their retake policies with their corresponding department head to ensure that it offers students the opportunity to improve.

According to the district guidelines, the initial purpose of the retake policy was to assist students that were struggling to fully understand content or if they were physically and mentally not in the right place to take a test. Jonah Hanson (11) spoke to how the policy is upholding its goals.

Hanson said, “For some classes, it is important to have a retake policy because some days you wake up, you’re tired, you have a headache, and you’re not going to do well on a test.”

For some teachers, the retake policy fits well with their curriculum. Jim Pardun, AP Calculus teacher, discussed how he incorporates reassessments.

“I figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the student, turn the weaknesses into strengths and then once they have displayed growth in that area, then they can reassess. And that reassessment looks very
different… it could be a demonstration of knowledge or a presentation,” Pardun said.

Although there seems to be support from many regarding retakes, some students and staff question the unhealthy study habits students could develop.

“If students are using the retake policy to not study the first time, I think that is a problem,” Hanson said.

Others point to the harmful retake cycle some students are stuck in.

Jessica Delorm (11) said retakes have affected her ability to keep up while learning new concepts.

“It’s like I’m always working. I have to study for the retake material while learning the new material, but then I can’t understand the new material. So then I have to retake that test too,” she said.

Jeffery Broms (11) expressed concern for how retakes may be detrimental to students in AP classes.

“AP courses will have a larger exam at the end of the year, so it shouldn’t be encouraged that people should rely on retakes over getting it right the first time,” Broms explained.

Beyond AP exams, some believe the “two chances mindset” that is implemented is not representative of real life.

AP Statistics and Geometry Honors teacher Paul Brettner said, “In my opinion, retakes aren’t as helpful in the long run. When you go to college, I don’t think in college you get retakes and I know we pride ourselves in being a college-prep high school.”

With these back and forth arguments, some teachers express the desire to have a choice in
administering reassessments.

Brettner said, “I don’t like having a mandate where we have to [enforce retakes]. I would much prefer
having a personal choice in the matter of whether or not I allow retakes.”