New final exam schedule creates more conflict for students than advantages

Students may be celebrating the new policy to dismiss at 12:30 p.m. after their morning finals this week, but Grady and Atlanta Public Schools would have better served students by keeping the traditional schedule of two finals staggered throughout the day and two classes in between each for safety, equity and time management.

Although the early dismissal appears to give students more time to study in the afternoon at home, it is more practical to keep the schedule the way it has been for years. The old schedule allowed teachers in the afternoon classes to help students study for their upcoming finals or simply give students a break after a long test. This new schedule would cause more stress for individuals with back to back finals now.

Safety is of the utmost concern, especially after recent events, including shootings around the nation in schools. It is already extremely difficult for school staff to monitor students after school, and this early dismissal only heightens that problem.

While some students are eating lunch in the cafeteria, others may choose to leave because they either drive themselves or have parents picking them up. This means unaccountable teenagers will be roaming around, either in school waiting for the bus or walking outside the vicinity of school grounds, going to restaurants or hanging out. Grady is still liable for every one of these students moving from place to place safely.

Releasing students early also does not necessarily mean they will study more in the afternoon. Personally, I will most likely hang out with friends and get a bite to eat after we are let out and then study at the usual time I would get home from school.

I can only imagine this is what most students will be doing as well. As much as teenagers dislike being at school, it is undeniable the atmosphere encourages productivity. Keeping students in school through the afternoon influences them to study more and use teachers as a resource to prepare for finals. How many students are going to go straight home and crack open the books? I would guess not many.

Some students think the 12:30 p.m. dismissal is more useful because they do not have finals in some classes, so there would be no point in sitting through that class in the afternoon doing nothing. But, this is when students have the opportunity to use their peers and school computers to study. Also, releasing the school day at the normal time gives students time to use the library, computers and other resources that some kids do not have access to at home.

This position may be initially unpopular with the majority of students, but there are other factors to take into account other than the excitement of getting out of school early. In addition, this policy promotes procrastination. Students may bank on that time after school to only study, while they should study weeks in advance for their finals, instead of the day before.

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