As Cathedral Catholic High School continues its third week of distance learning, CCHS administration has decided to cancel finals for all classes due to the disruption to the regular learning schedule from the ongoing COVID-19 stay-at-home order.
Elaborating on the decision, CCHS Principal Dr. Kevin Calkins explained the primary reason for canceling finals came out of consideration for the needs of students and teachers.
“The main reason we are not taking final exams is because we do not need to unnecessarily cause more stress and anxiety during a very difficult time,” Dr. Calkins said. “It is possible that distance learning will last for the rest of the year, and the idea of taking final exams virtually did not seem like a good one. Teachers will focus on the most important skills and concepts of the course units left in the year.
“They will not be adding additional assessments to make up for the final exam.”
According to Dr. Calkins, the different learning environments students now face, along with logistical issues, also contributed to the decision to cancel finals.
In response to concerns that removing finals will result in students being unable to raise their grades, Dr. Calkins stated that finals are representative of a student’s existing grade and that canceling finals will benefit rather than harm students’ grades.
However, the cancelation of finals does not affect preparation for AP tests.
“AP classes can continue to prepare for the AP exam the way that they’ve always prepared,” Dr. Calkins said. “Eliminating the final exam does not mean that students can’t practice by taking an equivalent exam.”
As distance learning will continue into the foreseeable future, the administration wants to make it clear that student learning is held as a priority over assessments.
“We want students to know that we recognize that these past two weeks and the next month or more is causing a major disruption to their learning,” Calkins said. “As such, we want to make sure that we are focusing on what we can control, which is very little, and at the same time make sure we are not requiring unnecessary work. Learning is more important than assessment of learning.”