Wellness and Equity

The benefits of the one-day summative exemption varies among IASAS delegates.

Being able to travel internationally for IASAS is a privilege. However, these five-day trips commonly leave delegates feeling exhausted, which is why JIS has a policy exempting them from taking summatives scheduled one day after their return.

“I don’t think I was around when the policy originated,” said Ms. Pool, the High School Principal, who is currently in her tenth year at JIS. “[But] the intent of the policy is wellness—the idea that you should get home, have dinner with your family, sleep a good night’s sleep, and then worry about assessments the next [night].”

However, the benefits of this one-day exemption vary from delegate to delegate, given that some are granted more free time to study throughout their trip than others.

As far as cross-country is concerned, IASAS delegate Vedika J., who traveled to the International School Bangkok (ISB) in Thailand, explains that she would typically compete until around 9 AM, then be granted free time throughout the rest of the day.

“[After the competitions], you could either go home with your host family—if you coordinated that—or you could stay in the library and study,” she recounted.

Art delegate Mariska K., who also traveled to ISB, conveyed a similar sense of lenience.

“[The organizers] didn’t specifically schedule a lot of free time, but what ended up happening is a lot of the things that they planned went really short,” she explained. “Like, they planned on setting up the art show for about three hours, but it took 45 minutes.”

On the other hand, a Model United Nations (MUN) delegate, who also traveled to ISB, presented a more hectic schedule.

“We [needed to be at] ISB at around 6 AM, then take an hour or two… [to] the UN center,” Axel H. said. “I don’t think we had that much free time because the only time we went out was the one day that the conference ended early [or before 5 PM].”

Yet, Vedika asserts that the policy was beneficial, explaining that the fatigue accumulated throughout her trip prevented her from effectively studying upon her return.

“Even though I didn’t expect that I would have to, I had to use the entire day [after traveling] to just rest and recuperate,” she admits. “[It] was a relief that I didn’t have to immediately jump into studying.”

Similarly, Mariska expresses support for the one-day exemption, but specifies that its prime benefits stemmed from the lenience of teachers regarding its enforcement.

“We got back Monday morning [at around 1 AM],” she explained. “[For] most people, when they rescheduled [their summatives], teachers were very flexible, and they would make us do it on a Wednesday [or Thursday] instead of a Tuesday, so it was pretty good.”

Likewise, Axel appreciates the reprieve, even though he did not reap from it due to a lack of summatives. Instead, he proposes a more comprehensive rule: “IASAS trips must be followed by a one-day break [from school].”

Since the amount of free time delegates are given throughout their trip affects their view of the one-day exemption and its benefits, assigning different exemption periods to different IASAS events would appear to be a fair solution. However, Ms. Pool explains that one reason for having a blanket policy is with respect to non-traveling students.

“Oftentimes, your teacher doesn’t return all the assessments with feedback until everyone has taken it,” she said. “Everybody [except traveling delegates] could have been waiting since Wednesday of the week prior [of arrival in Jakarta] to get their assessments back, and that doesn’t feel fair, either.”

A variety of factors must be taken into account when proposing or even simply considering changes to the policy. Ms. Pool welcomes students to propose new, creative solutions.

“[At JIS], we have a policy-change proposal system,” she said. “If someone wants to bring [change] forward, I would absolutely consider it.”