Second semester marks return to traditional final exam policy


Photo by Jose Lopez

Students who wish to improve their grades before finals should take advantage of tutoring in the LRC.

By Jose Lopez, Reporter

Administrators at West Chicago Community High School announced a change to the second semester final exam policy – one which will affect all students.

The new finals policy requires all freshmen, sophomores and juniors to take an exam, even if they have an A and B in the class, which is a change from the past two semesters, in which certain students were exempt from final exams.  Seniors, however, do not have to take a final, although they may see summative assessments in various classes during their last week of school, which concludes on May 11. 

Ultimately, the staff at WEGO wants to return to the traditional ways in which students were assessed prior to the pandemic.

Mary Howard, Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning said, “Since the semester we had to go remote during the 2019-2020 school year, exams have been looking different each semester. What’s going on right now is that we are trying to return to normalcy as much as possible.”  

Final exams will be held May 23-25 over a series of shortened school days. On May 23, students will take their zero through third-hour exams, and finish at 12:45 p.m. On May 24, they will take their fourth through ninth-hour finals, and again finish at 12:45 p.m. Students with tenth-hour exams will return on May 25 and break for the day at 9:25 a.m.

For some students, this will be their first time taking a final exam.

Howard said, “I think kids need to understand how their grades in each class are set up, and then if they are trying to improve their grade they want to make sure they are prepared for whatever the assessment.” 

A student marks a text in English class to prepare for an assessment. (Photo by Jose Lopez)

She also encouraged students to take “advantage of tutoring that we have here.”

Tutoring in English and math is available in the LRC after-school Monday through Thursday from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Some expressed displeasure with the change to the exam policy.

“If you already have a passing grade, there is no reason for you to take a final. I think the kids that are failing should take it just to see where they [are] at,” said sophomore Max Borjas. 

Senior Tyler Nelson said, “If you have an A or a B, I feel like you should be exempt from finals.”

However, other students acknowledged that there are benefits to finals in general. According to some students, an exam tells teachers where the student is at academically, whether they have been paying attention in class, and what additional supports a student with a low grade might need. 

“I think it is pretty good,” said junior Nathan Schmidt. “First semester was kinda a warm up to coming back to school, so I think by the time second semester rolled around, people should be in here and ready to take tests.”

Although exams are no longer optional for those with an A or B in class, there are still 13 weeks to prepare to take the finals. Now that the policy has been set, students can plan ahead.