Is Acceleration Sacrificed for Stress Relief?

Sherin Lajevardi, Staff Writer

Despite Irvington’s constant efforts towards reducing stress within the student body, the root of the issue is embedded in the school itself and how many classes at Irvington are run. Irvington is a school with an overwhelming population of high-performing students, often held back from reaching their full academic potential. Inevitably, student stress and anxiety results from being placed in a class that’s out of touch with their interests and passions.

Oftentimes, students fully capable of taking a higher level AP or Honors course are demoted to take a class that may have been already taken in the past, which is particularly common with incoming freshmen. Ultimately, this incorrect placement can have drastic effects on a student’s overall performance for the following 4 years of high school. Offsetting a student’s path during high school can potentially have long-term effects on a student’s goals, priorities, and college decisions. For example, some students pursuing advanced courses offered by prestigious colleges such as Stanford are required to take AP Calculus, AP Physics, or AP Computer Science before applying for college. Students that have not taken these courses in high school are at a severe disadvantage when applying for majors and colleges.

Although Irvington has attempted to decrease stress and anxiety among students through a holistic approach, little has changed pertaining to stress levels among the overall student body. For example, efforts such as stress-free week do provide relief, but only for a short period of time, usually no longer than a week.Taking into account the diverse variety of students at Irvington, an overarching approach to solve such a prevalent issue is incredibly difficult to carry out. Oftentimes, students are left with the feeling that the administration is out of touch with the student body.

On the other hand, some may argue that allowing students to take classes without restrictions could lead to a considerable amount of stress. Numerous concerns have been brought up by parents, teachers, and administration over the fact that students in Irvington overload themselves to the point that they can no longer focus on their own activities. However, providing students with a broad range of classes allows students with the opportunity to have exposure to an assortment of subjects early on, allowing them to discover their actual passions more quickly: arguably the true purpose of our education system.

It is evident that the progression of limited classes freshman year to senior year leaves students completely lost and overwhelmed to the point that college seems incomprehensible. In order to take steps towards alleviating this issue, it is of absolute importance that Irvington students are provided with resources, paths, and classes that promote academic acceleration rather than the needless stress caused by the deprivation fundamental courses and information.