Why Are Finals After Winter Break?

Bhoomi Sharma, Photography Editor

This school year has been an interesting one for everybody. Students, teachers, parents and administrators have had to adjust tremendously to the changes that occurred during the pandemic, and finals are a big concern for people at this very moment.


One of the things that Neuqua Valley High School has changed in the 2020-21 school year is that they have moved finals for the first semester to the first week of school in 2021. Previously, students would finish our finals in the first calendar year and have a transition period in the first week of January, where most teachers would move on to teach their second semester syllabus.


In an interview with Dr. Lance Fuhrer, Principal of Neuqua Valley, why this was the case. He replied, “We try to make the semesters even. So for many courses, if we had finals before break, there would be a three week difference between first and second semester. But to make the two semesters even, we would’ve had to move it three weeks on the opposite side.”


According to Fuhrer  “there were a number of people involved in the decision. We had about a dozen students from each of the high schools, a dozen parents and a dozen teachers, and then there were different leaders from our schools and also our district office.”  


Fuhrer said, “It’s a fair question for a student to ask, why during this time would we be giving a final exam? And I think my responsibility — our responsibility as a school is to give student’s opportunities and provide them those challenges that are gonna serve them moving forward.” Fuhrer also went on to mention  “You are going to have experiences where you are going to have to put together three or four different ideas, and somehow find common ground. You need to, a word we use a lot, is synthesize those ideas.” 


The way student’s take finals will also be changing further this year. Fuhrer shared that teachers and course leaders would change the way students take these assessments, and how it l impacts their final grade. It will not be a final point, but more of a gathering of the information a student has had to learn over the two quarters. He explained, “We know, as you know, we can’t give a multiple choice final. That’s not fair. Because there’s gonna be some student’s that say you know what, ‘I’m gonna be honest and not reach out to friends or do whatever,’ and there’s gonna be some that make a different decision.” 


Fuhrer also addressed  the lunch break between the third and fourth classes of the day, or rather, the lack thereof. He said, “When we actually get back to school, we know one of the things we don’t really want to do is serve lunch. We don’t have the capacity to sit student’s far enough apart, and in that many different places.” 


The school board is constantly just trying to keep up. Their job is to solve problems and think of creative solutions that serve everyone. As annoying it may be to have finals in the later half of January, the other option is dragging out the school year as a whole. With that being said, good luck Wildcats!