This week, students will have half days on Thursday and Friday to allow time for midterm exams. Math exams will begin on Thursday morning at the normal school start time followed by Science exams at 9:30. The school day will end at 11:00 am. Friday will follow the same schedule but with Social Studies first followed by World Language. English classes do not have an exam time becuase, said Principal Mary MacDonald, “The English department decided that tests were not an authentic part of their curriculum, that it was much more paper-driven.”
Middle schoolers who are enrolled in high school courses will take the exams with their classmates then return to regular middle school half day scheduling. High school students who are taking more than one course in a specific core study area will be able to schedule their exams at a separate time. As with final exams at the end of the year, any students who do not have a midterm in a core subject or who are not taking a core subject at all do not have to be in attendance at school during that exam time. For example, students who do not have a science exam may leave school on Thursday after the math exam is over provided they have their own transportation.
Although this method of testing is new, the schedule has reflected the half days for midterm exams since the summer. The exams were created in collaboration with the faculty and the administration, but the actual midterm itself is teacher-driven in nature. Added MacDonald “Different teachers have control over what they’re doing and how they’re grading it, but it’s time that we’ve opened up for everyone.”