Finals schedule has many changes and issues that need revision

Over the past couple months, a group made up of students, staff, and administration has been working to create a new final exam schedule. The new schedule will be a major change from previous years, as a result of continued enrollment growth. Exams will be spread out over the entire four-day week, rather than just the first couple days. Each student will only be able to have two exams per day. Thus, there will be no full “free days” on the back end of the week, which has always been an excellent time for students to relax before the new semester begins. Many students enjoyed having their exams on only the first two days of the week, rather than needing to come in every day. Some would like to cram them on Tuesday to get them over with. The added time allowed them to work more hours at their job, take some time to rest, or hang out with their friends. 

In addition, each day’s schedule will be based on normal class periods. 1B and 2B one day, 3B and 4B the next, and so on. One benefit of this change for staff is that they will be able to proctor their own exams. It doesn’t exactly make much sense for a music teacher to be proctoring a math exam. With the new schedule, staff will not have to move between several rooms of students, reducing their stress by allowing them to stay in a single location. Other suburban high schools like Verona, DeForest, and Middleton use a similar variation of our new schedule. 

However, the tradeoff of allowing staff to be stationary for student free time isn’t exactly fair to those who like to finish exams right away in a day or two. Now, that option has evaporated. It’s understandable that Waunakee wants to be aligned with our neighbors, but being unique is nice as well. Simply because Diet Coke made a change doesn’t mean that Pepsi has to follow suit. By virtue of enrollment growth, the finals schedule does have to shift every so often, nonetheless; there are ways to keep aspects of the old schedule as well. Having a flexible option to have more than two exams in a day is an important part of that. Perhaps there could be a way to use a space like the small aud to allow students to take exams at an alternate time. 

Overall, the new final exam schedule does have a few flaws. However, it is the first year of this revised schedule. There will be a chance for staff and hopefully students to provide input and work out several kinks. That way, scheduling flexibility like what was done in the past could possibly be preserved if there is enough interest.