Wake County high school students who have been begging for major changes in the exam schedule after missing three days due to this week’s snow days are out of luck.
Wake County school officials released a statement Wednesday saying that there will be no district-wide changes to the high school exam schedule due to the inclement weather and resulting school closings. In the statement, Wake gave several reasons:
▪ Such a change has no precedent.
▪ In years past, when instructional days have been lost during first semester due to inclement weather, we have had no reports of any negative impact resulting from upholding the original exam schedule.
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▪ Principals have been telling students since last week the exam date would not change.
▪ Making changes at this late date has the potential to create more challenges than it would solve, namely developing a new schedule and notifying all concerned in a timely manner.
▪ This year’s calendar included 92 instructional days in the first semester and 88 days in the second. This actually makes the two semesters more balanced.
▪ It would create unnecessary conflicts with mid-year graduation schedules.
But Wake also said that individual schools do have the authority to make “minor tweaks” in their exam schedule within the testing window. In these individual cases, students and parents will be notified at the school level.
The snow days have come at a bad time for students who had planned to be in class reviewing material before finals start next week.
Schools are under a tight timeframe to get the exams in before the semester ends Jan. 24 at traditional-calendar schools. Exams administered by the state have to be given within a limited window that starts in Wake on Jan. 18.
Schools have a little more flexibility when it comes to final exams that are given by teachers and not by the state.
Before North Carolina’s school calendar law forced traditional-calendar schools to start in late August, high schools would finish the first semester by winter break. This meant students took their finals in December.
Wake’s Twitter account has received a steady stream of tweets this week from students and parents asking if there would be a change in their school’s exam schedule. Some asked Wake for a postponement or to even cancel the exams.
Wake’s standard reply was to contact the school principal.
Some students said Wake shouldn’t change the exam schedule.
The panic some students are feeling is visible in the tweets. Some students went as far as begging Wake to reopen school so they could get the review time in this week.
Wake’s announcement that there wouldn’t be changes to the exam schedule drew complaints Wednesday from students who warned they’d be taking the exams unprepared.