During the Howard County School System’s October 22 board meeting, the county came to the conclusion that no final exams will be held for the 2020-21 school year. This is in correspondence with the closure of all Howard County public schools due to COVID-19.
With this year’s 4×4 scheduling system, each course only consists of two marking periods for the overall grade to be calculated. Howard County has come up with a new system for calculating final grades, as seen below.
This presents some difficulty for teachers, as they must decide how they want to go about weighting grades and extra-credit assignments with such little room for error on the students’ side.
Howard County Student Member of the Board, Zach Koung, led the push towards the cancellation of final exams. He stated, “Right now, students are facing numerous challenges due to the pandemic… We don’t need to add another thing for students to stress about.”
Koung also noted that when he first introduced the idea in September, he was met with resistance, but the board passed the motion 7-1 after having a month to reconsider.
In addition to this vote, the board also unanimously voted on a follow up motion to “direct the Superintendent to have staff explore opportunities for students to improve their grades,” as Koung put it.
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