Dear Parents and Guardians,
I’m writing to share our approach to exams this winter. The mid-year exams are an important part of our curriculum. Mid-year exams:
- Allow students in semester-long courses a culminating assessment for the course;
- Allow students in year-long courses to assimilate a semester’s worth of work and demonstrate their mastery of the subject so far;
- Are an important preparation for college education, where both reading periods and examinations occur twice each year.
For all these reasons and more, we believe that the traditional study and exam period have an inherent educational value. Moreover, as you know, our approach to COVID-19 challenges this year has been centered on the goal of creating and maintaining a St. Andrew’s experience based on community and proximity, and of keeping our special form of residential education as close to “normal” as possible. Winter exams are an important part of our normal calendar and routine.
That being said, the more-contagious omicron variant has created extended absences for some students as we have returned from the Winter Break. Therefore, in an effort to adhere to our COVID-19 planning principles while also being responsive to student and faculty needs at a time when we have many extended absences, we have set the following policies for winter exams this year:
- Exams will be a maximum of 75 minutes in length, a change from the usual 2-3 hours.
- Exams will count for no more than 20% of the semester grade (exams normally can be up to 25% of the semester grade).
- Students who have been home for extended absences will have exams waived; the exam will not factor into their semester grade.
- We will follow our usual exam schedule: a review day on Monday, one exam per day Tuesday through Friday, teacher office hours and study hall periods each afternoon, and a study hall each evening.
Students have been directed to see their teacher, academic advisor, or Dean of Studies Melinda Tower with any questions about their specific academic situation. Here are some additional points about our approach:
- Students who have recently returned from an extended absence will use the exam time to complete semester assignments and study material so that they can resume the new semester in step with their classes.
- If a student whose exam is waived makes a special request to make up an exam, that would be at the discretion of the teacher and proctoring would be arranged through the teacher.
Please be in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or with Melinda Tower as Dean of Studies (email@example.com), if you have questions or concerns about your student’s academics at this time.
Gretchen Hurtt ’90 P’22,’24
Dean of Teaching & Learning
Stuart Chair in English