The Smoke Signal

Last Minute Change in Exam Policy

Sophomore Kayla Perry stays focused as she bubbles in answers for her English midterm.

Sophomore Kayla Perry stays focused as she bubbles in answers for her English midterm.

Sophomore Kayla Perry stays focused as she bubbles in answers for her English midterm.

Susie Webb, Page Editor

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Word went around the student body last Friday that if a student’s exam score doesn’t raise their grade, it won’t count.

On Monday night, after all the exams had been taken, a robo call confirmed these rumors.

The change in policy comes after several snow days prevented students from getting adequate review time. After coming back from winter break, many students felt as though they were being thrown into exams without any preparation.

“We missed a few days due to snow that were supposed to be review days,” junior Lauren McCallum said. “I was relieved to hear about the new policy because I was really nervous about my exams.”

Due to the loss of review days, the five high school principals from around the county made the recommendation to continue with exams on the notion that they may help raise a student’s grade; however, they didn’t want anyone’s grade to drop either.

There were concerns from parents and students made to central office and to board members about missing class time, and a possible loss of time for finals preparation,” Principal Joseph Lewis said. “That was why the decision was made to count the exam grade only if it helped the overall grade and not count the exam grade if it hurt the overall grade.”

Several students were upset that they still had to take exams when nearby counties, Spotsylvania County for example, cancelled their exams entirely.

“I was mad that I had to take exams even though they didn’t count,” senior Cecelia Howell said. “I was falling behind in some of my classes, and I couldn’t do my makeup work because I was so busy studying for exams.”

The point of midterms is to give teachers a chance to check in with their student’s and see what material they need to revisit. Student’s were intentionally uninformed about the change in midterm policy to ensure that they would still do their best on the tests.

“We felt students might not take the exam seriously,” Lewis said. “If we would have released this before exams, many students wouldn’t have helped themselves by taking the exam seriously, and teachers wouldn’t have had a true benchmark of student progress.”

While the exams put student’s under unnecessary stress, some remained objective and could see the logic in the school board’s way of thinking.

“I was happy my exams didn’t count at a grade stand point, and I wasn’t mad that they didn’t tell us about the change in policies,” junior Logan Oliver said. “It forced the students to study and is beneficial to their overall knowledge.”

Overall, while it was frustrating for student’s to go through all the hassle and stress of exams, no one could complain about the exams not lowering their grades.

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The school newspaper of Stafford High School
Last Minute Change in Exam Policy