Set up for Failure

Students are not preparing themselves for what comes after high school


The Vote: 9 agree / 3 disagree


The class of 2023’s experience in high school has been influenced by COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. Freshman year was cut short and sophomore year was almost completely online or in hybrid learning. Junior year was the first time current seniors were able to experience a somewhat normal second semester.

Even then, it had restrictions.

During the pandemic, most NW teachers adopted a passive standard when it comes to late work. That standard has remained in place.

According to principal Lisa Gruman, most late assignments are graded as if they were turned in on time. Grades are based solely on the content of the assignment, not whether the student turned the work in on time.

This ultimately excuses students from meeting due dates.

While most have learned academically, students have not been expected to meet deadlines. As a result, they don’t have the skills needed to survive in the real world – or even in college.

That isn’t because teachers don’t help students. It is because students don’t take advantage of the opportunities to get help.

Administration has continued to provide a seminar twice a week for students to complete work and get help from teachers. Instead students use it as a social hour, nap time and, only occasionally, a work time.

Teachers Brett Mach and Rebecca Anthony offer a writing center staffed by upperclassmen offering extra assistance with written assignments.


French teacher William Espeset encourages students to come to tutoring sessions on a specific day each week, and most teachers are available before and after school.

Students do not take advantage of these opportunities given to them to complete their schoolwork.

Another aspect to be considered is the current emphasis on mental health. While mental well-being is important, perhaps too many compromises are being made for it. There’s a difference between accepting you have a mental health issue and learning from it, versus using it as a crutch.

How can the current seniors go out on their own and become successful in college if they do not know how to take advantage of the resources available to them?

The problem at hand is that expectations for students are low and have been since March 13, 2020.

As students, we need teachers to hold us to higher standards to make sure we have the skills we need to be successful in life.

Nothing can be done now, in May, to fix the shortcomings of this school year. But going forward, teachers need to set higher standards and students must realize that ultimately, they are responsible for what they learn — not their teachers, or parents or administrators.