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At the end of each school year, students are required to complete 3 or 4 summative tests in order to accurately measure what we learned throughout the past school year and determine things such as class schedules. These tests are called the General Summative Assessment (GSA) and are given to each student in grades 3-8. Last year, however, the GSA was canceled due to COVID-19. We are taking it this year, and many students have strong opinions on it.

First, some background information. Students who attend school in-person took the GSA during the week of May 3-6 at Logan Middle School. Fridays are used for small group/extra instruction, so we do not have normal classes, but students can join a Zoom call with a teacher for extra instruction or things such as Math Field Day practice. Virtual students have to go to the school every Friday from April 30 to May 21 to test. All students have to take a math, reading and writing test, and students in fifth and eighth grades have to take a science assessment as well.

I am a virtual student, but I went in-person for the first half of the year. I do not feel that we should do the GSA this year. This school year has been full of new challenges and stressful situations, and I believe that these tests just add more stress.

Everyone has been forced to do school virtually for at least a portion of the year, and some students simply cannot learn outside of a classroom. I know that these tests will not affect our grade, but it is difficult to take a test when you have been trying to navigate a pandemic while learning, especially a test as highly anticipated as this.

“I think it shouldn’t be given because students should not be judged by how well they do on a test and it adds extra unwanted stress,” said Bobbi Bradshaw, a ninth grade student at Logan High School.

Isabella Mark, an eighth grade student at Logan Middle School agrees.

“After all we went through, I don’t think it’s fair to put us through a stressful test,” Mark said.

However, some students think the tests are necessary.

“I think that the end of the year test is a good thing, because it helps teachers know where the students are, progress wise, and what they need help with,” said Brayden McCoy, a seventh grader at Man Middle School.

Sydnie Wolfe, an eighth grader at Chapmanville Middle School, said, “I think it’s a good thing that we’re doing it. Nobody likes the end of the year testing, including me, but I think it’s important to do them, especially since we didn’t do them last year, because they help see where each student is in terms of knowledge and if they need to be taught more or less in the following school year. I will still be glad when they’re over though.”

Clearly, students have mixed opinions on the GSA. Whether you fully support it or are wholeheartedly opposed, we still have to take them. On the bright side, we’re almost finished. Summer is almost here. We’ve got this. See ya next school year, FlipSide readers. Have a great, safe summer!

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