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High school semester tests will be December 19-20 - Exemption policy clarified
LW
Tuesday, December 04, 2018

THS administrators wish to clear up any confusion over a newly implemented semester test exemption policy before the next round of semester testing takes place on December 19 and 20. 

The semester text exemption policy was developed in an effort to reward responsible students for outstanding attendance. The incentive was that if students attended school on a regular basis they would not be required to take a semester test at the end of nine weeks of instruction and therefore would receive as their semester grade, the grade they had at the end of a nine weeks (semester).  However there would be limitations as to who would be exempt and how absences would be applied in order to be eligible for this reward. 

Here are the rules for meeting the exemption status:

Students with three or fewer absences and a grade average of 90% and up = exempt

Students with two or fewer absences and a grade average of 80% and up = exempt

Students with one absence and a grade average of 70% = exempt   

All absences regardless of reason excused or unexcused (i.e funeral, medical, illness, personal business, vacation, truancy) would be counted in the exemption policy as an absence. The only days away from school that students would not be penalized for are school sanctioned activities such as field trips, athletic competitions, conventions etc. This reasoning is because students on school activities are technically still under the jurisdiction of the school but not in the classroom, therefore it is not a traditional absence. 

As an example said student has a B in a science class and was gone one day for an FFA activity and was away sick two days is still exempt from a semester test.  If the same student had a C at the end of the nine weeks of his science class he would be required to sit for the semester test. 

Excused and unexcused absences are evaluated differently when determining if a student will fail due to attendance.  Please consult the student handbook for specific details when addressing attendance as related to failing. Always  remember that excused absences are still very important to graduating on time so be responsible and attend school regularly.

On designated semester test days, which  will be December 19 and 20 school is still in session.  However, your child is not required to be in any class they are exempt from. They are not counted absent, they are counted exempt which will  not hurt their attendance record. They have the option to stay at home for those exempt classes.  However the buses will always run their regular schedule and food will always be served in the cafeteria on both days..  This will guarantee that if your child is exempt from perhaps only one class but must be in attendance for his other classes he will be able to get regular services provided by the school as far as transportation and food items.  Students will NOT be allowed to come and go as they please or roam campus during test times.  The same checkout (with parent permission) and check in policy will apply.  

Tests will be administered in this order: Wednesday, December 19 students will receive testing in classes that meet third and fourth period during their normal class time. Classes will meet as usual for first and second period on that day as well. Thursday, December 20 students will test for classes that meet first and second period. There will be no new academic material introduced during the afternoon class sessions on December 20. This time will be used by teachers to complete final grading activities and administer any makeup tests. 

The high school will also provide a supervised area for students to go to during class periods they are exempt from.  They are not however supposed to be in classes with teachers whose classes they are exempt from unless they have made a decision to go ahead and take a semester test which will always be their option.  If a student feels they can raise their grade in borderline situations by scoring high on a semester test, they will be given every opportunity to do so during regular testing times. No students will be academically penalized for opting in on a semester test.

Also note that test exemptions do not apply in classes where the teacher has assigned an end of course project as a semester test.  All students must complete these projects and the teacher will have full authority on deciding the semester test process (project or test) for his or her class. 

For further questions regarding this new policy you may contact any of the high school principals at (405) 598-2113.