With Christmas right around the corner, most people are settling in and waiting for the holiday. Students at Franklin High School, however, have been nervous about taking final exams. Now that worry has abated as the final exam policy has shifted in order to benefit as many students as possible. In the face of such an unprecedented year, grace and understanding are more important than ever, which has resulted in finals being revamped to help students. Everything has looked a little different this year, but the question at the forefront of everyone’s minds is how this week will look now.
Mollie Allen, a senior, was concerned about the possibility of taking her finals remotely. “Having remote final exams worries me. There’s so many distractions while learning at home that I feel students may not perform to the best of their capability.” Mrs. Willhite, the high school science teacher, believes that remote finals would not be a real demonstration of what the students have learned during the semester, and expressed a concern that students might cheat if given the possibility. Mr. Waggener agreed with Mrs. Willhite’s statement and decided on a new plan of action accordingly.
Instead of testing students’ knowledge with traditional final exams, the administration is allowing students to work with teachers to improve their grades. “The idea behind this concept is to offer extended time, with teachers, to work on missing or past assignments that students did not do well on,” Mr. Waggener commented. Two days, December 16 and 17, will be allotted for these Academic Recovery and Support days. The goal of these two days is to give students time to make up missing assignments and raise their grades before the end of the semester. It will also give teachers a chance to reteach difficult materials.
The schedule for the two Academic Recovery and Support days will look different from a normal school day. Students will arrive at the school at the normal time, but instead of structured thirty-five minute classes like normal, there will be certain rooms designated to a subject. “Teachers will be assigned students to start the day and as they complete the necessary work in that subject, [the students] will be directed to another room,” Mr. Waggener elaborated.
In addition to giving students an opportunity to improve their grades, the new structure also provides an answer to the question that had been concerning many students: would final exam exemptions be used this year? While this was a concern when students were expecting final exams, the new Academic Recovery and Support days permit students with high enough grades in their classes to be exempt from the two days as a whole. “Students with A’s, B’s or C’s are not required to attend. Students with a D or F are required to attend. Students with B’s and C’s are invited to come if they would like to improve their academic standing,” said Mr. Waggener.
Although finals may look a little different this year, students and staff are used to adapting to change and doing it well. This new way of taking finals will be beneficial to both students and staff, and will allow students to improve their final grades for the semester. In a year full of change, the school doing their best for the students will always be something to count on.