Looking Forward: Exam exemption policy kicks off the second quarter


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Mallory Hearn, Co-Editor-In-Chief

1st quarter is behind us and with the start of the 2nd quarter the WS/FCS School Board announced that teacher-made exam exemptions will be tied to both attendance and grades. However, 1st quarter attendance will not count towards exam exemption status.
Students who have a final (F1) grade of an “A” and five or fewer absences, a “B” with three or fewer absences or a “C” with zero absences will be exempt from teacher-made exams.
Under this policy, there is no difference between excused or unexcused absences to be considered for exemption. This has sparked a lot of questions throughout the student body such as, “What if I’m sick?” “What if I am out for a school-related activity?” Fortunately, any COVID- related absences will not hinder exam exemption eligibility with the presence of a positive PCR test. Situations such as college tours or the death of a family member will not count as an absence either. School sponsored activities including field trips are exempt as well.
However, any illness like the flu or a common cold will affect exemption status.
“I was sick last week and I tested negative for COVID. Though I’m thankful I didn’t test positive, it sucks that my absences due to the flu will be counted against me,” junior Morgan McKenna said.
Teachers and administration are aware that many students are not fond of this news but there’s no denying it will improve overall daily attendance.
“We typically have very good attendance, but I will say that as we get closer to the end of a school year or a semester, there is a sort of shift,” Principal Kevin Spainhour said.
While many students in recent years have not attended class near the end of the school year or for exam review sessions, this year it is highly encouraged to attend.
“I think there is quality and an advantage to having to prepare to take an exam. Most of our students plan to attend a four year college or university and need to have some skills to know how to take exams,” Spainhour said.
If students plan to be exempt from non-statewide exams (Math 1, Math 3, English 2 and Biology) they should make sure to be mindful of their attendance and try to be at school whenever possible.
“Even though in the moment the teenage mind will go ‘Are you kidding me!’ West Forsyth holds ourself to a different standard and the exam exemption thing is just another thing we have to learn to accept,” Spainhour said.