Ten math questions, a language assignment, physics homework
and studying for a chemistry test, all to be done for Mondays
classes. Not a problem you think, right? You would have all weekend
to do it!
But what if you were gone all weekend and had missed two days
of classes when this work was given. Most students would find
this a very difficult task to complete considering the situation.
But according to some student athletes, this is exactly what
is happening to them.
At Roncalli Central High, students are encouraged to excel
both academically and athletically. However, some athletes who
are trying to maintain a ninety average or better feel that sometimes
teachers make this quite a difficult challenge. While some teachers
take these students into consideration when planning tests or
assignments others do not, they do expect all students to complete
all work on time.
Ron Chambers, principal of Roncalli, recently accommodated
two softball players by having his Canadian History test moved
to a day when these students would be at school. Many times school
sports involve long hours on the road and the tournaments take
a toll physically on the students.
Student athletes Judy Symes and Jennifer Frost both agreed
that when they return home on Sunday nights, they don't usually
have the time or energy to study or catch up on missed work.
Symes is involved in many sports such as cross country running,
softball, volleyball, and track and field. She says sometimes
teachers don't take into consideration the fact that athletes
usually spend their weekends, after schools and sometimes even
school hours preparing or participating in sports.
"Last week I participated in softball provincials which
meant that I missed two days of school plus I was gone all weekend.
When I came back to school on Monday I was loaded down with work,"
"It can be stressful when teachers don't understand the
pressure you're under to keep your average above a ninety and
play sports at the same time."
Frost, a member of the softball, broomball, basketball, volleyball
and track and field team, agreed that balancing good grades with
performance on the field, court, or ice can be exhausting at
times. Frost mentioned that on Monday mornings when she returns
from four days of traveling and competing, it is hard to focus
on work when she is practically falling asleep on her desk.
"I understand that teachers can't completely stop work
because students on sports teams are missing class," Frost
says, "but I also don't think it's too much to ask to put
off a test or allow us an extension on an assignment. It isn't
like we are skipping off and don't have a valid reason for not
The discipline policy at Roncalli says that no re-writes will
be given under any circumstances. This means that if an athlete
misses a test for school sports they are not given a chance to
write the test.
Glenn MacArthur, a teacher and coach at the school thinks
that most teachers are fair when giving tests and they usually
try to avoid giving a test when these students are gone.
"The policy at Roncalli was put in place to cut down
on the number of students who skip or miss tests without valid
reason. It was not designed to penalize the athletes at Roncalli,"
MacArthur also said that he understands that athletes are
tired both physically and mentally when they return home to school
so he personally tries to avoid giving test or piles of work
prior to or immediately after a major sporting event. MacArthur
also suggests that these students talk to their teachers before
the tournaments because they may be likely to give student athletes
the work up front or change a test to a day when they'll be present.