For the first time in years, students are not allowed to exempt semester exams (Sarah Crowder / The Talon News).

Exemptions Cancelled

District requires students to take exams due to Covid

December 3, 2020

This year has been less than normal. The first semester has been filled with rapid changes and last-minute fixes; administrators, teachers, and students alike have been throwing things at the wall to see if they stick. With increasing cases and the typical stress of the end of the year, the chaos of the semester is coming to a crescendo. 

Students should be allowed to exempt their final exams, as a grace to students and teachers. 

Teachers and students have been overwhelmed, to say the least. Trying to juggle normal classes, online studies, and a global pandemic is draining. Stacking final exams for seven classes on top of that is absurd. Not only would having exams add hours of studying and review for students, but it would also pile on prep and grading for teachers worked to the wire. Teachers have already been overtaxed this year, so much so that the school had to implement “virtual Fridays” to allow them to catch up. Allowing exemptions would give the school some breathing space at the end of a jam-packed year.

Traditionally, exemption eligibility is based on attendance and grades. Both of these are obviously going to be a little bit different this year. Despite this, there have been a substantial number of students who have attended school enough, whether in person or online, to qualify. It is unfair that the students who have shown up every day and kept their grades up don’t get the reward that previous years did. While average grades may have fallen this year, that should be expected with many students doing at-home learning for the first time. Multiple students have spoken up about how different and challenging it is to focus and learn online. These students shouldn’t get penalized for having to adapt. In addition, exams were always an incentive for students to keep their grades and attendance up. Having the option drives students to do better. 

With everything in 2020, students should be able to exempt their semester exams, for the benefit of them and the teachers. Talk to Mr. King and the counselors about exemptions. 



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