This year, semester exams will look different than they have in years past. The exam schedule has changed so that all eight exams are spread out from Dec. 15-18, with two exams each day for four days. Students do not have school on Monday, Dec. 14 so they can use the day to study; teachers have a professional development day.
Additionally, the requirements have changed to allow teachers to assess their students using in class assignments or projects as opposed to requiring a physical cumulative test to complete.
Exams, though stressful, are still an important part of the grading process and allow teachers and students to get a sense of what material students have successfully learned, and shows that they are ready to move ahead into another part of the course.
“We considered cancelling exams, but we still feel a semester assessment, to tell what knowledge students have retained, is still important,” Director of Curriculum Dan Rosenbaum said.
The decision to alter the requirements for the exams came from a discussion among the department chairs, Rosenbaum, and Principal David Mueller. These decisions were made because with some students and teachers online, it would be difficult to give students a traditional exam. With these changes, teachers were given the ability to decide how to approach the exams with students online, the teacher possibly online, and students divided into two rooms. The schedule was changed for the exams because previously there would have been three exams on two of the days, and the department chairs thought that it was too much to ask of students.
This change in format also changes the way that students are preparing to take the exam, and the change can even make exams more student friendly in some cases.
Counselor Alaina Way said, “Students who have troubles maintaining information or can get distracted will have an easier time because there are now different requirements leading to different assignments that are given, which allows kids of a different mindset to succeed more.”
Looking to the future, and especially to the end of year exams, it is still not knows exactly what guideline changes will stay and what will be replaced.
“May is too far off right now for us to decide what changes will stay and what will go. The next couple of months will help guide our decision moving forward,” Rosenbaum said.