Confusion Surrounds Exemption Policy

Natalie Chuong, Reporter

   Prior to COVID, the semester test policies required a combination of attendance and grades to determine who took semester exams. In the 2021-2022 school year, the complications of semester exemptions became even more tricky. On top of that, the school board made attempts at the beginning of the spring semester to change the attendance policy, causing even more confusion regarding semester tests. 

   In the fall during the 2020-2021 school year, the policy for semester tests relaxed. The exemptions before winter break required students to have a C or better with no penalty for attendance. Changing the policy for attendance with semester tests more than half way through the year presents inconsistencies.. 

  Complications from students struggling to balance the coronavirus spike with either fully virtual or quarantine from in-person classes creates confusion on why attendance now plays into the semester test exemption policy. The school board recently changed the standards to require attendance and grades. 

   Even with changes to the attendance policies, students cannot access their Home Access Center database. This has caused many students to not know their status with attendance and if exemption applies to them.  Another problem that many students face is exceeding the five parent permission days.  Doctor visits and bereavement days count against attendance towards semester testing. 

   The messiness and confusion caused by complicating the semester test exemption policy is unnecessary. Adding attendance as a factor during this lingering Covid-19 year is not fair. The school board should take into consideration of the students and their physical and mental well-being. If the board deems a change necessary, wait until the 2021-2022 year.  Clarify the requirements for semester test exemption next August.