Second semester finals faces possible changes

Photo Illustration by Jessica Qian

Photo Illustration by Jessica Qian

Arimeta Diop, Online Editor

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 14, students will be taking their first semester finals.  While, on the contrary, some students will have the option to not attend finals that day due to test exemptions. Principal Jennifer Fremstad and Sheyenne High principal Greg Grooters, have to coordinate between the two schools because while West Fargo is allowing exemptions for first semester finals, Sheyenne does not allow them for any of their classes.

“We have communicated with [West Fargo] to arrange our schedules in a manner that supports traveling teachers and traveling students,” Grooters said. “This will make sure that no students or staff are double booked when taking or administering tests.”

Concerning West Fargo specifically,  finals will continue to be conducted in a manner similar to how they have been in the past.

“Those classes that began the year with an opportunity for test exemptions will be allowed to honor them,” Fremstad said. “We are discussing how this will be handled for second semester.”

This need to review how finals will work next semester, however, is due to a combination of factors. Primarily the administration’s commitment to the implementation of Professional Learning Communities for the purpose of enhanced student learning. A major component of  PLC, as Fremstad explains, is common assessments. The staff utilizes student data gained from testing to drive their instruction.

“Sometimes a standard is measured by the completion of a project, a paper, a performance [and] other times a multiple choice test works,” Fremstad said. “The teachers determine the best way to measure standards and student outcomes.  These conversations happen in PLC.”

Both administrative staffs have similar beliefs of the importance of finals testing. They cite this testing as a qualitative means of reconciling the work done in the common standard driven PLC with the actual classrooms. Which is prepping students for their next step.

“Typically, the students that are exempt from finals are students that will be attending some sort of post-secondary education.” Grooters said. “We believe that finals at the high school level are good practice for the high stakes finals they will be taking at the next level.”