Hutchinson High students petitioning school board to adopt pass-fail model and cancel finals

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Should students be graded, even though they haven’t spent much time in the classroom? One Hutchinson student is saying no.

“A lot of us wake up in the morning, we dread having to go to school,” said Autumn Yates, Hutchinson High School sophomore.

For Yates, school is in the same spot she wakes up.

She says juggling online learning and the stresses of the pandemic are taking a hit on her and her classmates.

“My friends have had family members pass away or their parents or themselves are immunocompromised. So, it’s just a very stressful time for all of us,” she said.

She made a petition asking the Hutchinson Public Schools Board of Education to adopt a pass-fail model and cancel finals.

“This year is no different from last spring. Even though we had a longer time to adjust most of us still cannot properly learn through a computer screen,” Yates said.

Nationally, the remote learning trends show students are struggling.

“Right now, we don’t know if what’s going on nationally is happening in Kansas. We just don’t have enough information to draw that conclusion,” said Beth Fultz, Kansas Department of Education, Assistant Director of Careers, Standards, and Assessments.

The KSDE reporting, 12,000 fewer students participated in their state testing assessment from November 2020.

“The numbers were a little bit lower, but the participants were a little bit lower. So, we can’t draw any conclusions from that right now,” Fultz said.

Yates is planning to take the petition to BOE members by January 15.

“I’m hoping they will at least make an exception to where (pass-fail) was maybe even optional,” she said.

As of Wednesday night, the petition has more than 1,400 signatures.

KSN reached out to Hutchinson Public Schools to see how students are doing this year and their take on the petition. No one was available to talk.

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