ETHS will make several significant adjustments that will dramatically reshape the school with which so many people are familiar—the most infamous of which being finals. ETHS has eliminated the semester exams mainly due to the loss of instructional time, and for the student’s well-being.
“I think one of the biggest benefits is that it allows us to have more instructional time in the classroom,” Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Scott Bramley stated. “There are certainly days when we lose instructional time, but one of the biggest times when we lost the ability to engage in learning was for the final exams; you have the whole week where you don’t have your classes, right, you just go to exams. And then the week prior to that a lot of classes were really just reviewing, right. And so if you think about those two weeks of dedicated time just to take an exam, we don’t really need that anymore.”
One of the objectives of this action is that teachers find a different way to assess students and offer them more time to learn.
“With the elimination of finals, ETHS will still offer a proper assessment for the students. The exam period was approximately 90 minutes. And so with our block, the 85-minute block, you can do a large assessment, some performance-based or project-based assessment in one block session” said Bramley.
Previously, students needed two weeks prior to the exams for reviewing. With the implementation of finals, students lose instructional time where they could’ve spent more time learning and understanding the subject.
While Bramley and the administration stand firm in their conviction in this change, the only way to tell how it will affect learning is by doing it.
“So there’s thoughts and opinions on all sides of it,” Bramley said. “But nobody’s done it yet. So we’ll know more about what it feels like and how it actually turns out once we’re in the classroom. So I just want to say have some hope, have some faith. And we’ll continue to work on it. And if it’s not working, if there’s something we need to change, we’re going to address it.”