Extra Credit Breeds Benefits

Haley Zeldes, Web Sports Editor

As the long quarter commences and fighting for high grades is inevitably over, there is those lucky extra points that you have earned throughout the quarter that can bring your high B+ to a strong A-, making your quarter worth the effort.

These extra points are not just bonus on a test but are extra credit points added to the final grade that teachers like Heather Morley and Michael Aitkenhead allow students to earn. AP Environmental students are just some of the few that get to take advantage of the opportunities.

For AP Environmental, a class known to be difficult, extra credit is something that students are definitely grateful for. Jackie Appell ’13 praises the system saying, “ I think it is a great system because it allows to you help your grade a bit while still learning about the subject in another setting rather that just he classroom.”

Getting a good learning experience out of the extra credit is just what Morley and Aitkenhead are getting at. “One of my goals for students taking the class is to be an informed citizen… All the extra credit is in the community going to talks, public showings of important films that impact a town, or some type of service project that benefits the community,” Morley said.

The material grade rewards seem to not overshadow the bigger picture, which is that students are getting involved in the community. “They should have it in every class because we learn about our impact on the environment while getting extra credit,” said Zack Pensak ’13.

Brian Hershey ’12 has chosen not to participate in the extra credit opportunities so far in his AP Environmental experience, but sees no problem with the system. “ I think the extra credit system works… it can help someone’s grade who needs it without putting someone who doesn’t participate at a disadvantage,” Hershey said.

No one is at a disadvantage because in reality the extra credit really only does so much for a grade. “If students take advantage of all the opportunities I give, it can improve their grades.  Most often, the difference will be enough to push a student to the next grade level.  For example, a B to a B+,” said Aitkenhead.

This beneficial opportunity serves only the students and can be valuable in difficult classes, not only to raise grades, but also to get outside learning experiences. Other teachers have caught on, but many continue to operate the old fashion way with no extra credit. But Aitkenhead’s experience has only been positive since he started offering extra credit. “If some extra-credit is offered, the students take advantage and end up having learned more at the end of the year than if these opportunities weren’t offered,” Aitkenhead said.