End of the First Quarter, What Does that Mean for Students?

Abigail Alem, Staff Writer

On November 7, 2022, teachers closed all grading for the first quarter and submitted their final grades. While this only lasts one day, for students and teachers this one day is a finish line for a mile-long climb they’ve had to take. Leading up to this date meant hours of studying, final tests to take, and work to be turned in. As students, we can all relate to the stress that builds as this final deadline approaches. 

In Montgomery County, Maryland, every school year is divided into four quarters and each quarter lasts ten weeks. At the end of each quarter, students receive a final grade for each class they take that will appear on their report card and become part of their transcript. 

For some students, the first quarter this year wasn’t as successful as they expected. Beruktawit Mekonnen, a sophomore at Paint Branch High School noted that the first quarter was challenging and very stressful. She hopes that, “next quarter is better and I’m able to understand and focus in all of my classes.” 

Jasmin, another sophomore here at PB shared her experience this quarter stating, “At first, it was good; but it took a turn fast.” She then described how a specific experience she endured caused a lot of that stress, explaining, “One of my teachers waited till the last week to grade; so when we got our final grade, we couldn’t retake anything.” 

Now one-quarter of the way through her final year in high school, Senna reflected, while looking ahead, “Overall, I do feel glad that it’s over, but I want to work harder next quarter and balance the work I have to do for college essays.”. Senna’s experience represents a common problem many students go through. Many students expressed having been faced with hours of work to complete with little time to do so, causing some grades to fall as a result. 

Senna Yedeta also offers a piece of advice she wished she took into account when the quarter started: “Make sure to turn in assignments on time; just because you see an A doesn’t mean that A will stay.” 

What PB students experienced during the first quarter is not surprising, as it can take some time for students to become well-adjusted to the regular school routine while balancing activities they participate in and outside of school. Carol Church’s  Extracurricular Activities and Your Teen conducted a survey for over 13,000 sophomores from a wide range of backgrounds and found that “on average, these teens took part in two to three extracurricular activities and spent about 5 hours per week on them.” With sports teams, clubs, and other extracurriculars, the workload can back up for students. The end of the quarter is a small window to submit any and all assignments, so students have to utilize any free time they have to finish work. This can cause anxiety, strain their mental health, and cause students to frown upon a potential repeat when the second quarter starts. 

As students and teachers enter the second quarter, they take with them the mistakes they’ve made and what they learned from them. AP Biology teacher Mrs. Brielle Wertz hopes that “all my students find their own study habits and motivation to get the next grade higher.” Even if this quarter might not have been what was anticipated, we can recover and look forward to what the new quarter has in store.