The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

Shelly Justins Black Literature class creates posters for Black History Month. Throughout the semester, the students will read literature written by Black authors. A similar class is the topic of controversy in the Francis Howell School District.
In Defense of Black Literature
Editorial BoardFebruary 12, 2024

Francis Howell North High School students organized a walk-out on Thursday, Jan. 18, in response to proposed changes to the curriculum of their...

Taylor Swift, TIME Person of the Year, made multiple headlines in the past few months for her connection to Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Opinion: Taylor Swift Has Been Nothing but Beneficial to NFL
Zoey Srote, Staff Reporter • February 8, 2024

With the Kansas City Chiefs now Super Bowl LVIII bound, the Baltimore Ravens’ loss after securing a spot in the second round of the NFL playoffs...

Black students face a major achievement gap in regard to advanced placement courses, as a result of racial biases and curriculum-based limitations that negatively impact their academic performance.
Opinion: Racial Bias Affects Academic Performance
Justin Small, Page Designer • January 25, 2024

I remember the day I decided to look around at MHS. I noticed that in all of my higher-level honors and AP classes, very few people looked like...

Jason Winter, choir teacher, talks with his 4th hour class during their break-time, which occurs every 30 minutes. Monet Ballard, junior, said Winter’s class has been much more productive since the restorative periods were implemented.
Opinion: Students Need Breaks During Classes
David Moss, News Editor • January 4, 2024

Hasty passing times and a strict attendance policy have helped maintain safety and order at MHS. But when I find myself constantly rushing, working...

Canvas is one of the most used college interfaces and is seen in many Missouri universities, such as MIZZOU and St. Louis University. Blackboard is another popular site, while Google Classroom is rare to see in postsecondary institutions.
Opinion: RSD Canvas Investment is Valid
Editorial BoardJanuary 4, 2024

The Rockwood School District has decided to go all in on Canvas for the 2024-2025 school year. While Google Classroom has been students’...

Opinion: Graduation Date Creates Trouble for AP Seniors

Media by Layla Shockley
The district scheduled the 2024 graduation for the weekend between AP testing weeks. This will cause unnecessary stress for many of the 191 seniors taking AP tests. Students with tests on Friday will miss valuable graduation experiences, and students with tests in the second week of testing will have to re-enter the building despite not being a student anymore.

The Board of Education (BOE) approved the 2024-25 calendar on Dec. 7. They scheduled the last day for seniors for May 9, 2025 (a day earlier than this year’s). Graduation is not official, but I hope for next year’s seniors it won’t be May 10.

After all the difficulties graduation has caused for the Class of 2024, the district needs to reconsider having an early graduation.

The 2024 graduation date changed from Thursday, May 30, to Saturday, May 11, over the summer due to a call for graduation to be closer to the seniors’ last day. The original gap resulted from the school year starting later and the district trying to end the year before Memorial Day. The graduation date change, however, creates a multitude of difficulties for seniors.

AP exams are held from May 5 to May 17, so this year’s graduation is between weeks one and two of testing. AP U.S. History, AP Spanish and AP Economics students will take their test during graduation practice on Friday, May 10. AP Calculus students will take their test the Monday morning after graduation. Seniors with exams in week two will have to re-enter the building despite not being a student anymore. 

These conflicts will affect a significant number of the senior class: of the 561 students taking AP tests this year, 191 are seniors.

I’m an AP Calculus AB student this year, and I debated even signing up for the test due to the difficulties graduation will cause. The Senior Farewell event begins the night of graduation and lasts until Sunday morning. If I were to participate, I would be significantly sleep-deprived for my Monday morning exam and likely wouldn’t score as well. 

I’ve talked to my teacher, parents, and the administration to find the best solution, but there isn’t a perfect one. There is a make-up test date, but it takes place weeks after our in-class preparation. I could miss the Senior Farewell, but that means I wouldn’t get to experience an MHS graduation tradition. I could have not signed up the for AP Calc exam altogether, but all my hard work this year would have gone to waste. Calculus students have to choose between college credit and a memorable end to their high school career, which is a tough place to put any teenager.

Not only will seniors have scheduling conflicts and a disadvantage on the exams, but the end of our senior year won’t be as meaningful. Instead of reflecting on our favorite high school memories, a portion of us will be trying to remember facts, formulas and exam tips. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few students bring study materials to the ceremony or skip it altogether. Graduation is supposed to be a relaxed, bittersweet event, not a stressful distraction from AP tests.

The MHS administration has done its best to accommodate many of the conflicts created by the graduation date. For example, seniors are allowed back into the building to talk to teachers after graduation. The major conflicts, however, remain out of the administration’s reach, and seniors will still have to plan their studies around graduation.

AP seniors from other schools will have more review time, more sleep and a better end to their senior year than the Class of 2024 will. As the graduation date is chosen for the 2024-2025 school year, I would encourage the district to move it to at least Saturday, May 17. That way, only students with tests on Friday, May 16 are affected. It may be too late for the Class of 2024, but we can ensure the next class will have a better, more relaxing graduation. 

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About the Contributors
Annabelle Miller, Editor-In-Chief
Annabelle Miller, senior, is the editor-in-chief of the Messenger. She has been on staff for two years. Annabelle is an outfielder on the Varsity Softball team and plays french horn for the MHS Wind Ensemble. Outside of school she likes to bake and read.
Layla Shockley, Illustrator
Layla Shockley, junior, joined staff this year as an Illustrator. Outside of the newspaper, Layla enjoys painting, cooking, and talking to friends.

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