Despite the students favoring the final assessment policy used last year, principal Eric Koppes and the faculty have decided to revise the policy for this year.
Last year, high school students could be exempted from their final assessments if they received an A in the class, except if they had detentions, suspensions or were enrolled in a dual-credit classes that required a final exam.
“The fact that I had a 4.0 last year meant that I didn’t have to come to school the last two days before break,” sophomore Alexis Engelken said. “It was really nice because I had extra time to get ready for the holidays.”
But this year, all classes will be required to have a cumulative assessment at the end of each semester, covering all of the information they learned in the class throughout the year.
“I think that the new policy is unfair because students didn’t have any say in it,” junior Larissa Eshelman said. “Finals are also unfair because they’re a different kind of test. There’s more pressure on us because we have to memorize all the details for seven classes, and the tests are in a two days’ time.”
Although some students did not think that the policy had to change, others thought it was for the best.
“After teachers voiced their concern, I started to look a little more into the policy,” principal Eric Koppes said. “The policy did not meet our school mission in preparing for post-secondary situations.”
These cumulative assessments can be given in the form of tests, projects, portfolios or demonstrations; however, chapter tests are not permitted. In addition, as a part of this new policy, no parties or movies are acceptable for final days of class, either.
“These assessments are needed so that both the students and teachers can reflect on the school year,” Koppes said. “It will help teachers know what area they need to teach differently in and help the students by reflecting on if they retained the information or not.”
In order to create the new policy, the faculty met with Koppes three times during October to discuss the pros and cons of last year’s policy and the new ideas for final assessments.
“This new policy is not meant to be a punishment, by any means,” Koppes said. “It’s about realizing what you [students] can learn and retain from throughout the year.”
Story by Paige Nickell, Yearbook Co-Editor in Chief