Step it up PV: Pleasant Valley Community School district’s motto isn’t helping

The motto of the Pleasant Valley Community School Districts can be doing more  harm then good for PV students.

Pleasant Valley School District

The motto of the Pleasant Valley Community School Districts can be doing more harm then good for PV students.

Laci Roberts, Copy Editor

Pleasant Valley Community School District:  The school that strives for excellence around every corner. They tell the students to strive for less than five days missed, strive to have a 4.0 grade average or above, to strive to take all the honors and AP classes. But, students are burnt out due to this overbearing push for excellence at PV.

Pleasant Valley pushing to be a better school is great in theory. We have fantastic test scores, beautiful buildings, and a top-notch education. At PV honors, AP and dual enrollment classes push to make students better people in the future. 

In the end this drive for excellence will have a downside. Students are working day and night to try to maintain the PV standard. Kids take more than one honors class, attempt to participate in sports and extracurriculars. The busy schedule that many kids follow is stressful and hard to maintain.

Senior Lola Johanson hears kids talk about their lack of sleep as a honor badge. “The strive for excellence has created an unhealthy attachment to the need for good grades. As a result kids brag about lack of sleep. It is not a competition of who is sleeping the least,” said Johanson. 

When a student begins at PV their class schedules are completely filled with classes recommended to them by counselors and teachers alike. The culture promotes taking harder classes and pushing one’s self to excellence. As a freshman, many face the tough decision to join honor track classes. Once this decision is made it is hard to go back on the decision in the future. Whether it is the fear of judgement or failure, many feel they have to stay on the path until the end.  

A great example of this is honors science. If a student wants to drop down to the regular class track, they must join the freshman earth science course they would have skipped in order to cover all of the standards necessary to graduate. 

Junior Leah Hamby explained her school workload like a job. “The workload of students is unrealistic. School is a full time job without the benefits,” said Hamby. Students can be putting in more hours then a full time job to achieve the goals pushed on them by the school. 

Senior Cora Conner explains her thoughts on the strive for excellence at PV. “The need to strive for perfection can harm students in the future. There is just too much focus on grades. Teens need to have a life outside of school,” Conner expressed. 

Even with the challenge Pleasant Valley strives for excellence can cause, the idea itself can be valuable to the students. Pleasant Valley being a top tier school has a positive impact. When colleges see Pleasant Valley high school on applications it can positively affect a student’s acceptance. Internally PV can push their model of excellence to help their students instead of helping the image of the school. 

Encouragement is important for PV students, but the assumption that all students are capable of AP level classes creates a feeling of inadequacy in those students who just cannot achieve 4.0 GPAs nor handle a schedule full of dual credit and AP level courses. The motto is a great idea in theory to help students but in reality it is doing more harm than good.