Is student motivation an issue? Here’s what you need to hear


Alayna Lansberry

Guidance counselor Dr. Spaid

Alayna Lansberry

At the October 26th Clearfield Area School District board of directors’ meeting, the school board decided to stay on the spilt schedule, with students attending every other day. Student motivation on the “off” days seems to be an issue. Here is what Principal Mrs. Prestash and guidance counselors Dr. Spaid and Mrs. Fletcher have to say about the importance of work on “off” days.

Mrs. Prestash stated that when they talked at the November board meeting, the majority of the board wanted to see us be in a low COVID count to come back full time. The case numbers were still going up as well. Instead of green, yellow, and red it is now low, moderate, and severe.

Mrs. Prestash said she wants students to come back IF she can ensure that each and every student and staff would be safe. With the current restrictions of masks, staying 6 feet apart, and being socially distanced we are not able to adhere to the restrictions if we are at full capacity. The reason why our small neighboring schools can go back full-time is that they have approximately the same number of student in their school district as we do in our junior-senior high school. A good percentage of those schools chose to go cyber, therefore reducing the overall number or students and creating opportunities for social distancing.

“Is student motivation an issue?” She answered academically she didn’t think so because the amount of work being turned in is comparable to the work turned in at this point last year. However, overall students may be struggling with the new normal and that’s where she wants us to stay positive and lift each other up. If you see a student not looking that happy, chat with them, she said. Another good thing to do is get involved with extra- curricular opportunities that we do have in place this year.

“What are your expectations for high school students on their day off?” Mrs. Prestash answered if you have internet, log in daily to find your assignments and make an honest effort to try. Do not procrastinate, it will only put you back. Turn in assignments when they are due and if you have any questions, chat your teachers. If you don’t have internet, take the time in school to download your assignments. For all, stay on task, do your work daily, and use chat for questions.

Mrs. Prestash said if you are not doing your work it is going to lower your grade. Doing the minimum and getting by will not make you pass. In order to graduate you need 28 credits, so every year you need to have 7 credits and if you fail, you will not receive credit. If your grade is below a 60, you do not qualify for summer school. However, there is an option for credit recovery, which will cost between $150-$200 pre credit.

Dr. Spaid, the junior and senior guidance counselor, said student motivation is an issue for some. “It is tough – I get that.  Students have to realize that it is important to do the off-day work.  Students need to find a way to be engaged.  What I have been suggesting is that students get out of bed by 8:30 AM.  Then spend 1 hour on each of their core classes (Math, English, Science and Social Studies).  Then take a lunch break and then in the afternoon work on electives.  If students set a schedule for themselves, it will help.  They can ask their parents to help them follow a schedule.  The off day needs to ‘feel’ like a school day,” said Dr. Spaid.

“Students do not want to fail,” said Dr. Spaid, adding “Failing 9 weeks just makes the next 9 weeks tougher.  It is important to have good grades if you are thinking about college or tech school.  Having good grades is important if you are planning to go to work.  Having a transcript that shows you were a dedicated student says a lot to colleges, tech schools and employers.  Once you have a bad record, it will stay with you.”

In addition, she added, “I understand that working from home is not fun – that students want to be in class with their teachers – but it is the world we are living in right now.  We all have to accept the reality of our Covid-influenced world right now.  It will get better; we will come through this.  Messing up your school record because you can’t get motivated to do your work on the off days will have consequences.  I hope all our students can be successful.  I am available to talk to any student who is struggling.  We can do this by working together.”

Mrs. Fletcher, the freshman and sophomore guidance counselor, added: “Please do what you can do to make your situation a better situation.  We are all in this situation together. Treading water is better than sinking, but you don’t get very far. So, try and get going on whatever you need to do, even if it is by doing tasks in little bits.  Sometimes, doing a big task as a number of little tasks is helpful.”

Mrs. Fletcher encourages you to ask for help when you need it. “Your teachers have created this curriculum to help your brain grow; we all want you all to LEARN.  It isn’t there just to make you ‘do something.’ Teachers are keeping their workload to material that they feel is important for you to get to help you learn and move forward in your education.”

Mrs. Fletcher provided a useful analogy. “I can tell you, if you do not do your assignments at home, it is kind of like laundry.  I don’t LIKE to do it. But if I don’t. It PILES UP and it will not go away until I get it completed.  So, keep up with it. It is much easier to keep up with it than to play catch up on it.”