By: Paige Montgomery
The first thing senior Quentin Goodgain said after seeing the new finals schedule was, “Why is it like this?” His question was dosed with serious concern of having to stay an extra period after his finals were over.
Have no fear, the new period, called “Review and Prep,” is completely optional and designed for students to have improved access to their teachers.
The way the finals are designed now adds an extra “Review and Prep” period on Monday, December 18 before the 1A final. That day, only two finals will be taken, then three classes on the next two days, rather than taking the two finals on the last day. After finals are over, review and prep periods have been added along with a lunch period to extend the day to 3:30, the time the normal school day ends. Before, finals had ended at 1:10, letting students go home to either prepare for more finals or celebrate their completion.
While giving students more of a window to access their teachers is notable, the root of the change is to give seniors more minutes on paper.
“What happened was the CDE, Colorado Department of Education, audited the district and found that our seniors don’t have enough time in class because our seniors only take five classes,” said principal Dr. Lisa Roberts.
This problem is district wide.
Though no students technically have to be at school during the “Review and Prep” time, the addition of minutes still counts.
“Instead of calling the finals days half days, when you adjust the time when teachers are here and there are things like review and prep and now they are full days, that changes the minutes our seniors have in class,” said Dr. Roberts.
On the last day of finals, a “Second Semester Preview” takes the place of “Review and Prep.”
“That Second Semester Preview is really if kids want to access their teachers before going into break,” said Dr. Roberts.
The current schedule is ultimately a quick fix as administration decides how to make up the remaining minutes for seniors.
“There really wasn't a lot of wiggle room,” said Dr. Roberts. “We don’t have a ton of half days that we could make full days. We couldn't add a day of school for our seniors, so this was really the only way unless, let’s say, we took away that full finals makeup day after finals.”
One of the options is finding a way to make Senior Seminar, an online program every senior takes, count. In its current form, it does not count because there is no attendance taken.
“It’s a matter of what we offer because we can’t control if you’re going to go to everything,” said Dr. Roberts.
As for teachers, almost nothing changes for them except that students are formally able to see them after finals.
“I'm kind of ambivalent towards it [the new finals schedule],” said social studies teacher Doug Chilton.
Finals, one way or another, are right around the corner. The new review periods are still in a probationary stage, but may show promise.
“It will be good for students that want to take advantage of that study session, but I don't know how many students will really do that,” said Chilton.