Finals restricted to designated week

November 30, 2010 — by Samika Kumar

Though students will take all finals before winter break next year, principal Jeff Anderson has directed that teachers only give their finals during the designated week in January this school year.

Anderson imposed this policy in order to keep all classes more organized.

“It’s simpler,” Anderson said, “as opposed to trying to organize and find out who’s doing what.”

A few teachers, according to Anderson, have been giving finals before December break. Over the years, these teachers switched inconsistently between placing finals before and after break, which led to confusion on Anderson’s part and phone calls from parents.

“I would get phone calls from parents, saying, ‘Why are [some students] getting finals before the holiday break?’” Anderson said. “And I’m going, ‘Who? I didn’t know that.’”

AP Environmental Sciences and Biology teacher Kristen Thomson is one teacher who varied yearly between setting finals in the appointed week or before break. She preferred giving her students finals before break to reduce stress over the holidays, but her testing schedule became inconsistent due to two pregnancies in the past several years.

“The students were happy to have their finals come before [break],” Thomson said, “but if [staff and teachers] think [the new rule] is best for the overall student body, then I’m more than happy to go along with it. We’re a team here.”

Beginning with the 2011-12 school year, the school will implement a new calendar, approved at the Nov. 16 board meeting, where finals week will be before December break. School will start earlier in August to accommodate the change, Anderson said.

But Anderson’s main mission for this year is to have all finals during a set week that teachers agree on.

“Having these things all out of whack is not good policy,” Anderson said. “Good policy is when we do things as consistently as possible, and if we make a change, it’s a change that everyone agrees to and buys into. Here, that wasn’t happening.”

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