Students should utilize mandatory after-school sessions to improves grades


Tim Baffoe

A few juniors put in work after school to improve their grades.

Some see it as a resource. Others see it as a waste of time.

Students who are failing a course are placed on the Mt. Carmel F List, requiring them to attend after-school sessions with that teacher until their grade reaches passing. Some of those students see it as something not worth caring about when in actuality the list is meant to be used as a resource to provide help to students underperforming academically. While certain students only see a negative, some students find staying after school to be very helpful.
Director of Counseling Mr. Jim Peltzer is overseeing how many students are on the list. A portion of students on the F list is willing to put in the effort to catch up on missing work, while unfortunately others are not. Over the past weeks, the numbers have dropped, but it’s still concerning. “It’s frustrating because the vast majority of the F’s are because students aren’t turning in work,” says Mr. Peltzer. “As soon as they turn in missing assignments you see that their grades immediately improve.”
Many students believe that the F list is unfair because of the detentions that get distributed if they choose to skip staying after school. In some cases, students can’t stay after because they either work a job or they have something else going on outside of school. Although this is a factor to consider, the F list is meant to work with not against the student. It’s expected that the student takes thirty minutes out of their afternoon to stay after school and catch up on the work they missed. “I think there’s a misconception,” says Mr. Peltzer, “Because we’re requiring it, they think that it’s a punishment, and that’s not what it is.”
In college students aren’t allowed to slack off. If they fall behind, it would be detrimental to their academic career with a possibility of being kicked out. Even in the workforce slacking off is not accepted. Mt. Carmel is making young men learn responsibility with this F List.
“Everything has a purpose here because we are preparing young men for life,” says Mr. Peltzer.
Despite the fact that some students choose to not stay after, there are still a good amount who do. Those students are taking the initiative themselves to get their grades up. Even if it takes time out of their day they still manage to do it. “Whatever class I’m failing, I take it as an advantage to think, like, this is the time to ask more questions,” says a senior who is currently failing Pre-Calculus and attending after-school sessions.
Students that are on the F List have a chance to redeem their grade, but the cost is fixing it after school because of their lack of taking responsibility outside of school. Despite the fact that students have to stay after, it is beneficial to have a one-on-one sit down with the teacher to discuss grades. “When I was with (Pre-Calculus teacher) Mr. Petrich,” says a senior who was also failing Pre-Calculus describing his time on the F list, “it was actually helpful. He sat down and tried to explain it to me as best as he could.”
The students that don’t stay after school are missing out on fixing their grades, while others are managing to make it off the F list. Mr. Peltzer is seeing improvement in students that are continuously staying after school to do makeup work. “There has been improvement,” says Mr. Peltzer. “I think the rational students are like, ‘Well, I’d rather just get my work turned in than staying after school.’”
Although some students are now making it off the F list a significant number are still a part of it. Overall the students presently on the F list should consider turning in their work. Staying after school to receive extra help will only improve their grades.