The last month of school is pointless

The end of the school year proves very unproductive for McLean students


Nidhi Sathyanarayanan

Class half empty- An AB Calculus math class after seniors left is shown. Many classes around McLean become much smaller after seniors depart.

The official McLean High School calendar marks June 10th as the final day of school, but the truth is that the 2021-22 school year has in essence been over for many McLean students following AP exams and the departure of the graduating class.

AP courses are taught in preparation for exams in May, and after students have taken them there is a dead period without new content from mid-May to the end of the year in June.

“If exams are in the month of May, then that’s when school should end,” AP Psychology teacher Katie Van Nuys said. “[Administration should] plan backwards for the start date.”

When seniors exit classes, another dead period is created, as in any class where there was a mix of juniors and seniors, it would be unfair to have new material in the same course that only juniors would have to learn.

“It feels very empty with all the seniors gone,” junior Nidhi Sathyanarayanan said. “It’s a weird concept where it feels like we don’t have to go either, but we do.”

The feeling that the year is over is not uncommon. The atmosphere shifts after the major changes, leaving a sense of burnout within the school population.

“The inertia of the year gets to us and makes people a little more restless and unable to focus,” Van Nuys said. “It’s true for teachers and students.”

The year’s later end date in June also keeps students in an environment where they are at a higher risk to contract COVID-19.

According to FCPS COVID-19 Health Metrics, there has been a spike in reported cases in the month of May and early June. May 16 and May 23 reflect this, as they both reported over 800 cases, the highest surges of COVID throughout the whole year. Yet, despite there being no evident purpose for being in school, classes remain in session.

Some courses do have finals and due dates set towards the end of the year, making it necessary for students to stay the whole duration of the year. However, many students can be seen playing games or watching shows, as there still is much downtime, making it uncertain whether or not classes actually need multiple weeks after exam season in May to fulfill the full contents of their course.

“I’ve just been playing a lot of Clash Royale and Brawl Stars,” one anonymous student said.

A relaxed ending isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s an unintentional outcome that is a result of bad planning. Looking into the future, hopefully a modified calendar will be made so that there will be value and productivity until the end of the school year, giving students a reason aside from obligation to attend class.

Are you happy with the current end-of-year schedule?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.