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The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

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Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
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Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
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Brinley Zalc (’24) is #5 on the womens soccer team and defends against an opponent from Athens Drive. Photo used with permission from Brinley Zalc.
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Student sickness on the rise

As cases of influenza and coronavirus spike during the colder months, student absences also proliferate. Some students say that it interferes with their academic work.
An+influx+of+illnesses+around+winter+leads+to+an+increase+in+school+absences%2C+potentially+harming+student+performance.+Photo+used+with+permission+from+Diana+Polekhina+via+Unsplash.+
An influx of illnesses around winter leads to an increase in school absences, potentially harming student performance. Photo used with permission from Diana Polekhina via Unsplash.

Final exams require students to demonstrate their understanding of a semester’s worth of material, but not all students are prepared — or even present — to take such assessments.

Nearly 30% of students in North Carolina were chronically absent in the 2021-2022 school year, according to data collected by Carolina Demography researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill, indicating that they are at a high risk of falling behind in school. These students make up the half a million students missing 10% or more of their education. Experts say that one reason could be illnesses like influenza – also known as the common flu – and COVID-19, which tend to increase around the winter months. 

In recent months, data demonstrates that coronavirus and influenza cases are on the rise. However, compared to the number of deaths and hospitalizations, current rates of illness remain lower than those of last year. For some researchers, this points to the efficacy of vaccines for both. However, regardless of the lower rates of cases, high instances of both respiratory viruses still impact school attendance this school year. 

Another reason student absences are high is due to the number of gatherings with family and friends during the holiday season. 

Also since exams are coming up it’s hard to miss school from being sick since you miss the review days.

— Norah Grokhowsky ('25)

Many students at Green Hope continue to face issues with sickness impacting attendance this year and feel the stress that it can bring. Norah Grokhowsky (‘25) missed several days of school over the winter months and explained the burden that it brought amid exam season. “I got sick last week for three days, and it made it hard to catch up on schoolwork. Also since exams are coming up it’s hard to miss school from being sick since you miss the review days … I think a lot of kids have been absent lately because of the flu season,” she said. 

Many high school students resonated with Grokhowsky, as the semester ends right around the corner, and student attendance played a role in maintaining academic performance and senior-year exemptions. The class days leading up to exam dates provide an opportunity for teachers to review major themes from the semester and give students a chance to ask important clarifying questions, which provides insight as students prepare to take final exams. 

The Green Hope final exam dates for the first semester are scheduled for Jan. 17 through 22. Students who miss an exam will have time to make it up during the scheduled make-up day on Jan. 23. However, if students are sick during the entire exam week, one make-up day would not be sufficient, and teachers will work with students to take missed exams. 

Students are not the only ones at Green Hope to be impacted by sickness this winter. Teachers and office staff also experienced illness that has led to absence. “Even my anatomy teachers has been absent because of exposure to Covid,” said Grokhowsky. 

Numerous school absences that result from illness bring additional stress around exam season, negatively impacting student performance and health. Staff and administration is also affected, although rates of illness are lower in comparison to last year. 

I got sick last week for three days, and it made it hard to catch up on schoolwork.

— Norah Grokhowsky ('25)

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About the Contributor
Mason Cline, Staff Writer
Mason is currently a junior at Green Hope High School and this is his first year on staff. He plays for the school’s varsity football team and hopes to study business at either NC State or UNC Wilmington. He spends his free time eating “good food”, especially sushi. As the youngest in a big family, Mason claims it was hard for him to figure out what he wanted to do. However, with a few English classes and a new found love for writing, joining the GH Falcon became an interest he could call his own. Nine times out of ten, if you ask Mason what he’s listening to, it’ll probably be a Travis Scott song.
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