Marie Adele Grosso
On Friday, Dec. 11 an email went out to parents informing them that final exams had been canceled. “ As we know, this is not a traditional school year and therefore ELHS will not be offering traditional end-of-semester course exams,” the email said
Despite not offering final exams this year, teachers are given the option to offer a project, essay, or unit exam at the end of the semester. The schedule will also be altered for the week after return to school from winter break providing longer class times, as though we were taking exams.
The removal of final exams during this time provided much-needed relief for Caitlyn Shaw (11) whole “I was relieved that final exams are canceled because I can’t imagine the workload getting any bigger and I knew exam week would be really stressful and we don’t need any more of that,” Shaw said.
The sentiment was echoed by her peer Lainy O’Neal (11) “We are also in a global pandemic, and we don’t need any more stress with final exams,” O’Neal said. “Online, we are concept learning whereas in-person school and final exams are more fact learning,”
Students were not the only ones relieved by the decision, Mark Pontoni, The AP World History, and AP European History teacher said while normally final exams help everyone be aware of where they are in the curriculum but this year is different.
“This is 2020. The students who have been struggling to make sense of school during COVID are not going to do well on finals. Do they really need that extra kick to the gut while they’re already down?”Pontoni said
This year can be thankless and the lack of final exams provides a much-needed break for students. “There aren’t many ways to reward their efforts in the limited time we have together as it is. (Heck, I haven’t given away a Zebra Cake all year!),” Pontoni said, “So a break is a worthy reward for these students.”