Semester exams approaching quickly


Bailee Clifton

Senior English teacher Elizabeth Dawe goes over a Powerpoint with her seventh hour class to prepare for their college essay unit.

Bailee Clifton, Staff Writer

Midterms are here, and that means students are starting to realize that semester exams will be administered before Christmas break. Worrying about grades, missing assignments, and especially how many days we can miss this semester is an unnecessary stressor.

The student handbook states that “Students who miss three (3) or fewer days of each class and have at least a 70% for the semester average will be exempt from taking the semester exam,” but that does not seem very reasonable.

The handbook also states that students with two or more days in alternative education per semester, students with any out of school suspensions per semester, and students with any missing assignments will also have to take the exams. 

While most of these requirements make sense, students should be allowed more than three absences per semester before being made to take exams. Many students get sick around this time of year and may need to stay home to rest or go to doctors appointments. With only three missed days per semester allowed, there will be more students required to take the finals if they make their health a priority. Many students will take it into their own hands and just not show up on exam day, which they will then have to make up on later date. 

A solution could be to allow at least the five days set aside for mental health days. If we’re allowed to take five days for mental health, they shouldn’t be held against us as days missed towards being required to take finals. 

There has been some talk among students about wishing it was at least 10 days. While that seems nice, it’s not very feasible. Students would no doubt take the days and have that much more work to catch up on in class with an increased risk of falling behind.

What seems to be the best solution is to only count unexcused absences towards the three-day finals rule. Many students are unhappy about having to take finals even though their absences were excused. They may have also been required to be out of town for family emergencies or doctors appointments. Students shouldn’t have to worry about taking finals as a result of an emergency that they can’t control.

Even if it’s something as small as allowing more days or only counting unexcused absences, a change is needed in the outdated policy. In an article from “Best Colleges” it says that “78%  of households with high school or college students report educational disruptions from COVID-19. Over eight in 10 students experiencing these disruptions report increased stress.” 

As high school students, we have jobs and household things to take care of as well as school work and co-curricular activities. Worrying about an unreasonable finals policy just adds to the stress of it all.