Learning modifications create a challenge for Westside High School semester exams

On-site versus virtual proves to be a challenge for Westside High semester exams

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Just one week after pivoting to all virtual learning, the Westside High Warriors will not have a semester exam.

On Monday, the Westside Consolidated School District suspended its rules for semester exam testing, citing virtual vs. on-site administration as the number one concern.

“We’ve got great students. We’ve got great teachers. The students, you know, sometimes they work harder to find ways to be creative as opposed to just doing what’s in front of them in the first place," said High School Principal Chris George. "These are just some of the concerns I have had teachers share with me.”

George added it comes down to equity. They want to make sure they can guarantee fairness when it comes to on-site testing vs. virtual. The semester exam is a cumulative test and is also a 20 percent weighted grade.

After meeting with his staff, he found that they have seen everything from the lack of participation in virtual work to even students intentionally choosing to stay home and do school virtually on test days.

Another thing he noted, the fall semester started two weeks later than normal. The first semester does not end until Jan. 15, meaning the last day of instruction will be Dec. 18th, almost a month before they would even return to take a semester exam.

George said this could create another challenge and could also be an inaccurate reflection on what was learned during the semester

He added even with the vote this does not mean they are getting rid of semester tests altogether. This is only a request for the Fall 2020 semester.

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