Exempt that test

With second quarter in full swing, finals are quickly approaching. Not everyone has to take all of their finals, though, with our school’s final exemptions policy rewarding students for good attendance, behavior, test scores and grades.

In order to be eligible for a final exemption, a student must be a senior, junior or sophomore with no ISAP or OSS. Another requirement is 95% attendance, which means a student cannot miss any more than 4 days of school in a semester, including excused absences such as falling ill or a doctor’s appointment.

Senior PJ Brown views this provision as a little extreme.

“I don’t think the attendance requirement should be so strict,” Brown said.

However, to senior Rachel Bodine, the attendance condition seems fair enough.

“I see the attendance requirement as fair, because if you do not show up to class, then you don’t know what is going on in class,” Bodine said.

In terms of grades, a student must have an “A” (90 percent or better) for the semester, and to earn these exemptions, they must have earned a score of proficient or advanced on an EOC or an ACT composite score of 26 or higher. If a student’s grades slip below the 90 percent mark after the final exemption is used, the student is forced to take the final and has lost one of their exemptions that they have earned. Bodine is indignant towards this.

“They’re [final exemptions] good except the requirements, because if you showed up the day of the final and didn’t keep up a specific grade and maybe just went down one point, then you had to take the final and one of your three exemptions are used up,” Bodine said.

Final exemptions are not unlimited. Students are only allowed three exemptions in their high school career even if they have met the requirements on more than three classes. Three exemptions does not appear to be high enough for some students like Brown.

“I think we should have more than just three for our entire high school career,” Brown said. “That seems very low. I think Parkway gets three a year, and I think we should get three allotted every year for how many we get.”

As long as students meet all of the requirements, they are able to select what classes they will bypass the final in. Some students, like Brown, choose easier classes to exempt.

“I plan on exempting fitness walking, foods, and sports lit, because I don’t really see the point of taking those finals,” Brown said. “I will be taking AP tests for all of my other classes, so I won’t have to take any finals at all.”

Others, like Bodine, focus on the harder classes to exempt.

“I only have three classes this year, but I’m going to pick the hardest classes that I can keep the grade in for which classes to exempt,” Bodine said.

For any interested students, the deadline for final exemptions is Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. and should be turned in to your dean or assistant principal’s office.