At the start of the school year, administration announced a significant change in their policy toward testing days.
Prior to this year, each department had been given specific days of the week on which to administer tests to ensure that students were not faced with over three unit tests. Now teachers can assign tests on any given school day. If a student is assigned three or more tests that are 20 minutes or more in a single day, they can ask one of their teachers to reschedule a test, Assistant Principal Joseph Mamana III said.
The change to the testing system, Mamana said, was due to several issues with the old system. One of them was that, “students were still having an issue with too many tests. We found that there’s a lot of students who had [two classes in the same subject, especially in science and social studies]. The other issue was when we had a snow day or adjusted schedule,”
On snow days or adjusted schedules, such as a half day or pep rally, teachers would have to wait to administer tests later because their assigned test day was taken up by the snow day or adjusted schedule period. This meant that they might be forced to wait until their next testing day to assign the test, as the day when they returned could be another department’s testing day. Fire drills had a similar effect.
English teacher Dominique Parker expressed a similar issue with the old system. “Many teachers and departments found the old way restrictive, particularly if we had snow days or half days, because if you had a testing day that was a snow day and you come back on a different day, many teachers [assumed] they would give the test the next day and then they would run into some other department’s [test],” Parker said.
Eventually, “with these issues in mind a group of students [proposed a new idea]. The majority of teachers still wanted some form of testing days but a lot of students wanted [a change]. The teachers said it would be better to give the test right after the unit. This is because the teachers may finish the unit before their assigned testing day, resulting in them being forced to start a new unit before assigning the test in order to align to the testing day schedule,” Mamana said.
The administration therefore improved their policy to try to tackle these problems. In addition, to aid the teachers in working with the new system, an online calendar was established on which “all the teachers are supposed to put their assessments on there [preferably at least a week before the exam],” Mamana said.
Some students, however, have expressed some concerns about the new system, and felt that the old system was more accomodating for their schedules. Senior Chen Young Kim said, “I personally like the old system better because it’s more predictable. This way, I can have certain days I study on, and have it consistent throughout the week.”