Final Exam Exemptions No Longer Have an Attendance Requirement

Surrounded+by+books+and+papers%2C+sophomore+Reem+Mountassir+studies+for+an+upcoming+final+on+Dec.+6.+With+finals+being+gone+for+the+past+two+years%2C+students+are+feeling+anxious+about+winter+finals.+%E2%80%9CI+feel+like+since+last+year+we+didn%E2%80%99t+do+any%2C+it%E2%80%99s+a+lot+more+stressful%2C%E2%80%9D+Mountassir+said.%0A

Credit to Payton Johnston

Surrounded by books and papers, sophomore Reem Mountassir studies for an upcoming final on Dec. 6. With finals being gone for the past two years, students are feeling anxious about winter finals. “I feel like since last year we didn’t do any, it’s a lot more stressful,” Mountassir said.

By Macy Cronin

Students previously had to have 90% in the class they would like to exempt their final, but due to the district encouraging students to stay home if they feel ill, administration has removed that requirement.

“We’ve been actively telling families that if you’re not feeling well, don’t come, and [having the attendance requirement was] a mixed message, an unfair mixed message,” head principal Dr. Luke Lammers said. 

It was announced on Dec. 9 that the only requirements now to exempt a final are having an A for the semester, no in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension and having all fines paid. 

“If you already had earned some earlier in your high school career, anything that you had previously earned, that you still have, is kind of banked and will still be able to be used,” Lammers said. 

Juniors automatically receive two exemptions and seniors get three. Students can get another exemption if they score proficient or higher on their EOC, but the exemption can only be used in that class second semester. Students can also get an ACT score of 27 or higher to get an exemption, but only one and not one per ACT test above 27. 

“The removal of the attendance requirement didn’t have any effect on me personally,” junior Parker Bruns said. “But it was a relief to hear the change. The prior unexcused absences rule was taking affect in many students ability to exempt finals because most absences were out of their control.”

AP class finals will not be able to be exempt the first semester due to a decision made by AP teachers and administration several years prior. This is to help AP teachers prepare students better for the AP exam second semester because they know where the students are struggling based on the test results. 

Students can pick up exemption forms starting on Dec. 13 and must be turned in by 3 p.m on Dec 21. If students submit the form and exempt the final they must still show up for the final in order for the exemption to be used. If students don’t show up even with an exemption they must take the make-up exam. 

There is no expectation that the high schools in the district must remain consistent with final exam exemption requirements and uses.