WHS Should Implement New Retake Policies

Students Who Pursue Success Should Not Be Held Back By Objective Policies

Chloe Patel, Newspaper Managing Editor and Website Editor

In the Walpole High School Student-Parent Handbook, there is no mention of a schoolwide retake policy. This creates a sense of confusion for the student, and one might question whether a teacher has a retake policy or not, what it is or if the teacher even offers retakes. This information is oftentimes stated at the beginning of the year, as the teacher explains their classroom management plan. However, when this information is actually needed later in the year, it is blurred with other classes’ retake policies and, naturally, forgetting what exactly was said in August at the beginning of the year. Therefore, the school needs to implement consistent policies level wide―if not department nor schoolwide—for retakes. One policy within each level makes things easier for students to manage what their retake opportunities are. Additionally, if two kids are taking the same class at the same level, but have different teachers with different retake policies, then they may end up with different averages because one student had the opportunity to retake an assessment while the other did not. 

Understandably so, teachers may not like retakes, because, theoretically, retakes allow for students to blow off studying. A potential prerequisite that could be implemented is that a student must complete all the homework for the material the assessment is on. Because of that, students would still do the work for the class and learn the material, so they should be allowed a retake. One bad day that happens to be on a huge chapter test day should not determine whether a student gets a 78 or an 80 for the term. These two points will either encourage the student to continue working hard because they earned honor roll or discourage the student from putting in effort when they don’t make honor roll or have a lower GPA than they want.

Additionally, students are busy with other homework, athletics, extracurriculars and jobs. Also, multiple assessments in different classes are frequently scheduled for one day, so prioritizing one class over another can be necessary in order to do well on one test rather than mediocre on both. Having a retake opportunity allows students to study for one test, do well, and then take the other test in a retake setting in order to do well on that test as well. Student well-being and success should be the number one priority of teachers, and retakes used for this purpose can prevent students from overworking themselves for the sake of doing well on an assessment.

Students must be allowed some type of retake opportunity in their classes due to not only after school activities that a student must account for while trying to study for assessments but also the in-school stressors, such as another exam or a presentation in another class. Allowing for a retake for an assessment can take a tiny bit of weight off a heavily loaded student’s shoulders and decrease the stress faced surrounding grades—improving not only one’s mood for the day but also overall well-being. A good student who does all the work leading up to an assessment and does well with that material should not be restricted to performing poorly on the tests, and retakes allow a student to show their understanding of the material while still being in a test setting.