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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

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Amelie Donovan
Amelie Donovan
Sports Co-Editor

City High Introduces End-of-Trimester Finals

The new schedule outlines two days at the end of each trimester for cumulative finals for all classes
The+new+schedule+for+the+final+two+days+of+the+first+trimester
Wisdom Konu
The new schedule for the final two days of the first trimester

As midterms pass by and students begin to get ready for the end of the first trimester, a part of this preparation is getting set for the new extended class periods dedicated to class finals on November 15th and 16th.

“Last year during the third trimester, administrators met with every single teacher and there was overwhelming feedback from teachers for a final schedule, a couple of days devoted to true testing with some longer periods, so we could do a true summative assessment of the trimester,” Vice-Principal Phillip Hansen said.

Those involved in the planning for the new schedule worked with administrators at both West High School and Liberty High School who had their own established finals schedules. In the past City High has had some form of finals, usually all subjects having different devoted days to give their final assessment. 

“[Past finals] would keep you to the limited 50 minutes so allowing an hour and fifteen minutes, provides some more flexibility to do a true summative assessment,” Hansen said.

Hansen emphasizes the new finals being accumulated content from the trimester, allowing students to show what they have learned and what they are capable of.

“[Teachers] should not be trying to catch you off guard with what’s on it. Finals are an opportunity for students to show what they have learned and that they have mastered the standards that the course has covered throughout the trimester,” Hansen said.

Finals are also a way to prepare students planning to reach higher education through colleges or universities.

“And then I also think there’s a benefit at the high school level preparing many students for the next step terms with college or universities. We have a lot of students go on to higher education. I think there is an importance of the testing feel, preparing for a larger summative assessment that covers multiple months of material,” Hansen said.

By allotting two days for the testing, administration is ensuring all classes get the opportunity to have time for longer assessments.

“We want every course to have a summative assessment that allows students to show what they have learned. That is the best practice, that is something we feel strongly about. Are we going to reflect and ask for feedback? Absolutely,” Hansen said. “So second and third trimesters, it may look different, just small details. But ultimately, we do want to provide time for finals.”

Across courses, not every final assessment will look the same. It can be anything from a multiple-choice test to a group presentation.

“As a former math teacher, maybe that’s a free response and a multiple choice part covering the entire trimester’s worth of material, however, that may look different for an art class and your final may be a portfolio of one’s work really outlining everything they’ve done. In World Language maybe there’s an oral, spoken exam,” Hansen said.

The finals are up to the teachers and will look different based on the course and how instructors believe students can best show their understanding of content and standards thus far in the year.

“I think some of the concerns we’ve heard is ‘Okay there’s finals, that’s going to be sit-down, like the SATS, everyone’s going to be pen and paper, We’re going to be filling in bubbles.’ I think we’re going to find that that’s not the case. It could be a paper project, speech, presentation, whatever,” Hansen said.

Though the assessments may be higher stakes with the large timespan of course material, the point of finals is not to add extra stress to student’s already busy schedules. Students are encouraged to reach out to teachers or administrators if they are feeling overwhelmed.

“The purpose of the final is to show what you’ve done and prepare for many students going on to that next level, so if you find yourself in that boat of being stressed, talk to us. We have some things built in to help alleviate some of that,” Hansen said.

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