By Sebastian Gonzales,
Sophomore Estefany Arambula considers herself lucky that she can afford to attend various extra credit opportunities. However, there are some students At Davis High who are not as fortunate as she is.
Extra credit can make a significant difference because it can sometimes give students the additional points they need to raise their grade a class. The cost of some of these extra credit opportunities, however, means that there are many people within the student body who can’t always pay for it, according to Arambula.
There are multiple teachers within the school who have offered extra credit to students for attending events outside of the classroom, such as performances, shows, or museum exhibits. The teacher usually requires a small report about the student’s experience to be turned in afterward.
Arambula describes attending a theater show for her ninth grade English class and said nearly all of her classmates attended the show, paying the $5 entry fee in order to receive the extra credit offered by their teacher.
English teacher Carin Pilon offers as much as 25 points of extra credit to her American Literature class for “attending and reviewing one live theatrical performance per quarter,” according to her page on the DHS website. She offers to pay, or find other means of paying, for any students who cannot afford to attend a performance.
Kelly Christiansen on the other hand, who is teaching her first year at DHS, says that she does not offer extra credit for attending an out of school event, but sees the benefits in doing so.
“I think it’s a great way to emphasize that there are connections to the material covered in class outside of the classroom,” Christiansen said.
According to Nancy Peterson, a member of the Davis Joint Unified School District Board of Education, the California State Education Code prohibits teachers from requiring students to purchase something for a class. However, this rule does not extend to extra credit opportunities.
Peterson also says that making extra credit only available to the wealthier students could be classified as a “two-tier educational system.”
Part 49011, section three of the code prohibits two-tier educational systems by “offering a second, higher educational standard that pupils may only obtain through payment of a fee or purchase of additional supplies that the school district or school does not provide.”
The higher educational standard described in Part 49011 could relate to the extra credit offered by Pilon if some of her students are unable to pay. However, because she offers other economic options to these students, she is not violating the rule.
Junior Kyle Fix has also attended out-of-school extra credit activities for his band class and said that it is unfair for a teacher to not make the extra credit available to all students if they cannot pay.
“I think teachers need to accommodate for students who cannot pay for [the performance] in those situations. I don’t know of any that [accommodate for them],” Fix said.