Farmingdale High School students stood before the Board of Education Wednesday night at Howitt Middle School to protest this year's changes to midterm week.
The midterms, which are usually taken over the course of a week while classes were not in session, are now being given during class periods.
Superintendent John Lorentz said the changes were put into effect in order to add additional instruction days, specifically to continue Advanced Placement curriculum.
High School Senior and AP student Alexander Melton was greeted with a standing ovation from his peers after criticizing the midterm week changes.
"One hour I'm going about thinking about the birdies and the fishes to the people and the politics and the logarithms and derivatives. Now imagine those mind-shifts I have to through every day during a full day of school but now I have midterms in between," said Melton, who said some students would be forced to take three midterms in one day on top of a nine period course load.
"This is adding a lot of unnecessary stress that we have never had before…So now I'm going to have to go to a full day of school, have to take a midterm that is 10 percent of my grade. That's a lot…I'm expected to perform at my peak and without a full midterm week this year, it is going to be a lot harder to do that," said Melton.
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Students also discussed the disappearance of senior exemption; a privilege in which seniors are exempt from taking final exams if they're in good standing with their courses which students said was taken away during the first quarter of the school year.
"Why did we implement these changes this year? Why didn't we implement them last year or the year before because I've heard the expression, why fix something that's not broke?" said senior Chris Olsen.
Many members of the board were impressed with the students arguments.
"I have to say, we all agree, they made excellent valid points," said BOE Trustee, Kathy Lively.
"How proud we are to see the best of the best," said BOE Trustee, Tina Diamond.
Assistant Superindent Joan Ripley said the midterm week change was not a punishment, but merely an effort to benefit all students.
"We don't want to penalize the students that take on the most challenges but at the same time we don't want to stop school for students who are not taking on the challenges. That's where we have to weigh what benefits all of the [students] and it's difficult because one decision doesn't always fit everybody," said Ripley.
Superintendent John Lorentz said this plan has been in motion for a number of years and the board will analyze this year's results before next year's midterm week.
"You've made some valid points and you guys are the exceptional students that we have at Farmingdale High School….We've made decisions that we think will put us on the road to even higher achievement," Lorentz said.
BOE President Shari Bardash-Eivers said she believes the ultimate decision rests with the high school itself and not the board.