McNicholas students should be allowed the opportunity to be exempt from final exams

With exams for underclassmen right around the corner, it would be nice for students with A-averages to know that all their hard work during the year paid off.

Currently at McNicholas High School, underclassmen are required to take all of their final exams, regardless of their grade point average, but McNick should consider adopting a policy that allows students with an A average to exempt from final exams.

There are many local Catholic high schools that allow their underclassmen an opportunity to be exempt from their final exams if they meet certain requirements. Administrations at these schools have found the exemptions to be an effective incentive for their students. If McNicholas were to adapt a similar program, many students would try harder to get better grades and receive exemptions.

“I think having the opportunity to be exempt from exams is a benefit for many students because it is something the students work towards,” said Roger Bacon’s Assistant Principal Paul Zlatic.

At Roger Bacon, there is a Merit System where students earn points for being involved in sports and other school activities. Students who have earned Merit Status from the merit system can be exempted from exams with an 85% average.  Students that are not part of the Merit System can still earn exemptions by earning a higher grade average.  Seniors have to earn a 90% average while underclassmen must earn a 93% average.

“Our exemption policy encourages students to earn A’s and also be involved with and invested in the school community,” said Roger Bacon’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction Julie Vehorn.

At Fenwick High School, in order for students to be exempt from exams they must receive an A-average for the year, although teachers are permitted to require all students to take an exam regardless of their grade average.

“If I knew that I had the opportunity to be exempt from final exams I would push myself a lot more during the year,” said McNicholas sophomore Elizabeth Coffey.

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