Reagan’s successful fall semester exams

Students are back in the building for classes for the first time since last spring. This follows the successful administration of fall semester exams.

Shannon Overby

Students are back in the building for classes for the first time since last spring. This follows the successful administration of fall semester exams.

Madison Hepler, News Editor

This year, Covid-19 has stopped a lot of things, but End of Course (EOC) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) exams were not one of them. Reagan exams were administered across two weeks from Jan. 11-20. 

The courses that required these in person exams include: Math 1, Math 3, English 2, Biology, and any CTE course. 

Every exam was given in person on Reagan campus with numerous Covid-19 precautions in place to keep students and teachers safe. For many students, this was the first time entering the school building since last spring. 

Upon arrival, every student was screened in their car or as soon as they got off of their bus. This will be the regular screening protocol once students return to school for daily instruction in February. 

In addition to every person in the building being required to wear a mask properly, every classroom was utilized during testing to keep the number of students in each classroom to a minimum. 

“Overall, I feel that the school did a good job at keeping us safe,” said sophomore Hayden Daniels. “They sanitized all surfaces and chromebooks, we had masks on and were socially distanced.”

According to Assistant Principal Brent Atkinson, these measures were completely successful in keeping students and teachers safe. 

As of Jan 26th, we have had no reports of a student or teacher who attended testing who was diagnosed with COVID within the window for which they could have spread it during testing,” Atkinson said. 

While it was helpful for students to take their exams in the classroom, the overall exam grades are expected to be somewhat lower than those from a “normal” school year due to the effects of online instruction on many students. 

There is no doubt that Reagan staff did everything they could to prepare students for the in-person exams working in the constraints of remote learning,” Atkinson said. “However, based on the limit of synchronous instruction to 45 min per class and the institution of Flex Fridays, teachers’ live instruction time was cut by over 50% from the fall semester in 2019.”

Despite this, because of federal and state laws, EOC and CTE exams will still count for 20% of students’ final grade in the course. 

Last spring, during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, these testing requirements were waived by the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. However, this year DeVos declined to grant similar waivers, even though Covid-19 numbers are at an all-time high. 

Students who did not feel comfortable taking an exam on campus at this time were given the option to postpone their exam until a later date. 

Even though exams may not be students’ favorite reason to be in the school building for potentially the first time this school year, Reagan successfully administered exams during a time of uncertainty.