Previously at the end of each semester, students’ lives consisted of Bread Co. study sessions, little sleep and final review guides. Students were taking six to seven finals at the end of each semester, but there was never a RSD policy that said they were required.
Associate Principal Dr. Waeckerle said that last year teachers worked with their curriculum coordinators and teachers from all of the other high schools to determine if school-wide final exams should continue, and it was decided that it was up to each individual course and department.
This will be beneficial for all students, and will set students up for success. I remember me and other students being frustrated with having to take a final in elective classes or in any classes they had earned an A in. What is the point of cramming at the end of the semester when you have already proven you know the material?
What’s not going to be beneficial to students are classes that choose to have finals after break. This school year, the first semester ends Jan. 14 where in past years the semester ended before Winter break. Winter break serves as a break, not an extra week for students to cram and study for material.
Chances are, they won’t study even if they have a final after break. Most students are celebrating the holidays with their families, going on vacations, spending time with friends or taking time for themselves. Students are simply giving themselves a much needed and deserved break. A final after a long break is just setting students up to fail when they get back.
I tend to take higher course loads. When it comes time for the end of the semester, my life crumbles. It is near impossible for me to study material from the six classes I had to take finals in last year. Phasing away from the traditional finals protocol is setting me up for success going into the following semester.
As an RSD student since pre-school, I am excited to see this shift in finals custom. This school year, students, teachers and administrators have had to undergo many changes in plans. With our circumstances in calendar changes, finals are not necessary.