99 problems and the grading scale is 1

Myah Rhodes , News writer

The student body was in for more changes as they entered the 2016-17 school year when it was announced that final exams will no longer be the same. The policy was changed to make final exams weigh heavier in determining semester grades.

With few students knowing the loop holes of the policy, Director of Curriculum Nancy Spaniak explained that the new policy means that finals are now calculated by percent rather than the twelve-point scale.
An F is no longer one point, regardless of the percent; the percent that you earned is now calculated to find your grade.

“Prior to this school year we had this 12-point-scale. We really feel like final exams are the ultimate assessment as far as what does a student know at the end of this semester coming out of this course, so it should have some weight to it,” Spaniak said.

Upperclassmen who have been graded using the 12-point-scale their whole high school career now have to adjust to the new system.

“My teachers told me about it, but I wasn’t fully aware of what it does and how it affected me,” senior Kennedi Sidberry said.

The purpose of this new policy was to encourage students to take finals seriously and help prepare them for college, where final exams are more than a significant part of your grade.

“Often when you go to college, you’re graded on a mid-term and a final and that’s it. So [we are] getting [students] used to the fact that a final exam is important,” Spaniak said.

The decision was supported by some teachers because it gives students more motive to study for finals.
However, some teachers feel as if the old system was more fair.

“I’m in the minority. I think it’s too much emphasis put on one day of performance, but the 12-point-scale did have its problems,” math teacher Michael Sacks said.

Students are also feeling unsure about the added pressure and stress put into final exam week.

“I already have a lot on my plate during final exam week. The old system was a safety net. I knew I couldn’t do that bad because I worked my butt off during the quarter, but now no matter how good I do during the quarter, the final can still ruin my life,” senior Jaida Thompson said.

Although there is ongoing criticisms of this policy, it should be noted that this change won’t affect many students.

“Most students grades will stay the same. There will just be less D’s and more F’s. For students getting A’s, B’s and C’s they will see no change,” Sacks said.

Spaniak said that the school really wants students to absorb what they are learning, and not just use it on a test and forget it.

“The biggest reason [for the policy change] is just making sure that we have an accurate understanding of what you have learned during the year,” Spaniak said.