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Fighting ‘senioritis,’ students push to graduate

Special Education Aide Lorita Riedel helps senior Kyle Christensen with his work. Photo by Bella Batula

As the year comes to a close, counselors are worrying for the at-risk graduates of 2017.

Bear River Counselor Cindy HenryGrimm talked about why upperclassmen are letting their grades slip.

“There’s always a handful of students towards the end of the year that get maybe a little too much ‘senioritis’ and kind of let their grades go and, for both graduation and college purposes, it’s really essential that you stay on track,” she said.

Mrs. HenryGrimm also talked about what those struggling students could do to raise their grades.

“I recommend doing Bruin Times if you’re feeling something or needing remediation or doing study groups if testing is an issue,” she said. “Definitely work with your teacher on what things you can do to bring up your grade. If your missing projects, what can still be handed in late for credit? Teachers are really supportive so I would really encourage them to take as much advantage of that as possible.”

Mrs. HenryGrimm articulated the number of students who are falling behind.

“Frequently it’s because they have a subject area that they’re not strong in and it’s necessary for graduation,” she said. “We don’t have the number of students who won’t be graduating this year quite yet. Luckily I think it’s only a handful.”

Bethany Williams, another counselor, spoke about why no one will know the exact number of failing graduates until the last day of school.

“Well the issue is we’re not going to know till June 9th with some students,” she said. “They are going to keep us on our toes all the way up to that point, but I think a lot of times it’s just avoidance.”

Mrs. Williams also mentioned what these particular students are doing to result in falling behind.

“Avoiding completing assignments, avoiding attending school for whatever reason,” she said. “I think if students come to school every day and try their best, they’re totally going to graduate, but for some students it’s more of a struggle.”

Mrs. Williams discussed why earning a high school diploma is essential.

“I think that getting a high school diploma is a right of passage but it’s also a life skill because it shows future employers that you can finish what you start and that you have some serious skills,” she said. “I think it’s just really important to take it seriously, especially at this time of year.”

Mrs. Williams mentioned a list of things failing students could do to raise their grades.

“I recommend that they make a plan looking at all of their assignments,” Mrs. Williams suggested. “If they are trying to figure out assignments to make up, (they should make sure that they take care of high point assignments.) We have Bruin Time specifically for students to get caught up and to get support. We also have after school tutoring so there’s a lot of support to help students. But at the end of the day, they’re the ones that have to do the work.”

Connor Slayton, a senior at Bear River, talked about failing graduates.

“You know you just need to focus on your work and get it done so you don’t fail,” Slayton said.

Slayton talked about what you should do if you want to pass in time to graduate.

“Try not to get held back,” he said. “Like if you get behind on work, really try to work through it, don’t try to work around it. If you miss work, you got to make it up. … If you miss some assignments, those assignments can hold you back. So you really need to focus on just powering through the work you get.”

Slayton discussed what he does to push through senior year to becoming an alumni.

“(This is) how I work through it: If you have free time where you’re not doing anything, that free time should be put into you doing work,” he said.       

Jackson Blashford, a senior, talked about why he thinks some of the seniors are failing.

“I think that some students start to fail is mostly because of ‘senioritis,'” he said. “It’s a the end of the year. We already know where we’re going or doing and feel like we can relax and not do as much work. Also if seniors are planning on going to Sierra or another community college, you don’t need your high school grades so it doesn’t feel like you need to put much effort in if it doesn’t matter.”      

Blashford discussed what these specific students could do to raise their grades in the failing classes.

“Even though it’s the end of the year, we still have to concentrate and just persevere for the last couple of weeks because then it will be over and then we can relax,” he said.

“As of right now the biggest help we could receive would be from teachers,” Blashford said. “They still want to help and make sure you pass their class.”

Blashford also concluded in his own battles with graduating high school.

“My personal struggle is really ‘senioritis,'” he said. “I just don’t feel like doing homework or trying more then I have to to pass my classes.”                         

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Fighting ‘senioritis,’ students push to graduate