The Harbinger Online

Finals Policy Changes Affect Seniors

Photo by Lucy Morantz

Photo by Lucy Morantz

Seniors will be affected by a new exam policy and schedule for their last week of school, May 8 through 12.

Any student enrolled in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses can replace their second semester final with the AP or IB test, regardless of their letter grade in the class. The only exception to this is if the student is also taking the class for dual college credit; they must take the final exam if it’s required by the college.

Previously, seniors could opt out of up to three second semester finals for classes with a grade of 90 percent or higher, as long as they had no suspensions or unexcused absences. The AP and IB option was available on top of this, but followed the same criteria for grades, discipline and attendance.

“I think it’s unfair to the amount of effort students have devoted to their final year,” senior Lilly Horton said. “We have all been working hard on grades, considering college is right around the corner, so it’s deserved that good grades equates to the option to opt out of a final.”

Principal John McKinney realizes this could be seen as another obstacle before graduation, but wants students to understand their purpose

“[Finals are] not intended to be a punishment,” principal John McKinney. “It’s intended to be an opportunity to demonstrate how well you’ve learned the material over the semester and the other side of it is, how well [teachers have] taught it.”

Besides the change in their exam policy, seniors will have a different schedule for finals week than they’re used to.

“In order to meet the bussing obligations for all of our students who go to other facilities for some of their classes, all five high schools have to be on the same schedule,” associate principal Britt Haney said.

In the past, the schedule for seniors’ last week was a seven-period day followed by block classes the rest of the week. This year, the district is requiring the regular 77OE7 schedule.

Rather than fitting all finals into two block days, East administration is giving teachers the option of hosting their final on one of two days: odd senior finals will either be Monday or Wednesday, while even finals are on Tuesday or Thursday. Teachers have until May 1 to notify students of which day the final will be offered. This also opens up the option of a shorter, 45-minute final.

That Friday, May 12, will cap off the week (and high school career) for seniors, who won’t attend classes. Instead, the day will start with a breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by an Honors and Awards Ceremony, graduation practice and yearbook signing. This schedule is available in seniors’ student emails.

The new schedule means senior laptop roll-in is now Thursday after school, so seniors must turn their Macbooks in before they leave school on Friday.

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Ellie Cook

A burrito enthusiast and card-carrying fashionista, Ellie Cook is a senior at SME and enjoying her third year on staff as an editor and designer. When she’s not staying late in the J-room, you can find Ellie leading East’s Young Democrats Club or National Honors Society, singing in one of three choirs, or probably sleeping. She would like to thank Tate, her parents, and the academy for getting her where she is today. Read Full »

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