Challenge Day Poses Challenges for the Junior Class

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Last week, the junior class participated in Challenge Day. This event, which lasts the entire school day and is usually reserved for freshmen, aims to unify and strengthen the student body by creating a space for students to share personal vulnerabilities and encouraging empathy. Because the event was initially canceled due to COVID-19, the class of 2025 participated in the event during their junior year.

Challenge Day, which runs over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, split the junior class to attend one of the two days, causing students to miss class during one of the days. Though the efficacy and value of Challenge Day varied from person to person, many juniors felt annoyed by the event’s length and felt that they missed important class time. 

Many teachers, particularly AP teachers, whose classes often run on tighter schedules, taught different lessons over the course of the two days, forcing students to catch up with missed lessons and assignments. 

Junior Colin Kryger said, “I came home from Challenge Day to school work I felt like I could’ve done at school. That was the worst part of it for me, even though the rest was enjoyable.”

Junior Owen Tokic said, “Challenge Day was too long for the little amount of content we went over. Once the day was over, I had to catch up with hours of work because I missed my classes.”

In an attempt to avoid missing their classes, a few students didn’t attend Challenge Day in favor of going to school. Students were able to do so due to difficulties with attendance markings. History teacher Mallory Bryne said, “I could not view whether students were marked absent for Challenge Day from my classes. Our school is lucky to have an amazing attendance clerk and I know that she tries her best to make sure everyone’s attendance is accurate, but Challenge Day makes her job much harder.”

Others opted to skip school altogether. Junior Amanda Jennings said, “I would have had a lot of homework if I missed class because it’s an all-day thing. I understand maybe two periods, but a whole day feels like a waste of time. So I decided to stay home and finish up my work.”

Out of 131 juniors surveyed, 36% stayed home instead of going to Challenge Day and 4% skipped Challenge Day but went to some or all of their classes.

Though Challenge Day has been slightly disruptive for juniors the past two years, it will return to its normal freshmen-only experience going forward.

Jonathan is a junior at M-A and is in his first year at journalism. He hopes to learn more about his community and issues within it. Outside of school he enjoys listening to music and relaxing with friends.

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