Midyear Exam Schedule Change Approved

by Joseph Walsh
Class of 2016

Starting later this year, a change in the midyear and final exam schedules that was voted into action last year by the school council, will take effect. Midyear exams will now start at 7:45 as opposed to 9:15, and unlike previous years, lunch will not be served on exam days.

The original impetus behind this change was Headmaster James Lee’s concerns for student safety during the lunch and break periods. As upperclassmen will recall, half of the student body would sit in the auditorium and gym while the other half ate lunch. Lee felt that this arrangement posed a safety threat, as it would be extremely difficult under these circumstances for staff members to control and assist students in need, as well as for the entire building to evacuate in the event of an emergency situation.

Senior Alex Weingart, who serves on the school committee, student council, and school council, was in favor of changing the schedule, but took issue with one particular aspect of the proposal. The original plan was to have students take their first exam at 7:45, then have a ten to fifteen minute break before starting their second exam. Weingart felt that students should have a longer break in between exams, and because of his actions, the proposal was altered to include a thirty-minute break in between exams.

Weingart believes that starting exams earlier brings numerous benefits. “Students with individualized education plans, who make up twenty percent of our student body, have had to get a ride to school in the morning if they are given extra time on their exams,” says Weingart. “Now they will be able to take a bus in the morning.”

Weingart also stated that with the new schedule, students will be less inclined to procrastinate and leave all of their studying to the morning of their exam.

Starting school closer to the regular time makes the exam day routine more similar to any other school day. “We have all had to take tests during first period,” added Weingart.

Despite the benefits he sees in starting exams earlier, Weingart still felt that it was beneficial that the entire student be given a break between their first and second exam. Weingart feels that considering how important the exams are, it is important that students are able to function at their highest level, stating,” These grades will stay with all of us for the rest of the year.”

The new exam schedule, which will now include a thirty-minute break period, is expected to take effect during midyear exams in January.