The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Setting the Rumor Straight: Senior Exemptions Aren’t Leaving

One rumor going around LHS right now is that senior exemptions for final exams will be going away soon. Dr. Scott set the rumor straight.

One of the most-discussed rumors around school right now is whether or not finals exemptions for seniors will be going away in the coming years, and possibly even as soon as next year. These rumors have left some juniors freaking out.

According to the Libertyville High School handbook, “seniors may be exempted from second semester final examinations in a full year course if a grade of ‘A’ is received for the second 18th week progress report for that class.”  

Basically, for full-year classes, such as a basic math class, seniors would only be able to exempt from the second-semester final if they had an A.  They are required to take the first-semester final no matter what grade they have.  For classes that are only a single semester, seniors with an A are able to exempt no matter which semester that class takes place in.

Recently, LHS Principal Dr. Marina Scott set the rumors straight on whether or not the exemptions would be going away.  The final verdict was: exemptions will not be going away.

“Yeah, that’s just a rumor, but I can’t say that it’s not the first time I’ve heard it.  Kids have asked me about it before,” Dr. Scott stated.

Dr. Scott said that she believed that the rumors came about because of all of the changes that have come regarding testing recently.  She explained that ever since the English department transitioned their finals into a skill-based test, the District Board has talked a lot about how that evolution has worked and other departments have slowly begun to follow.

Because of this, the evolution of finals has been a well-discussed topic among Dr. Scott, student leadership teams, and other members of the District Board.  However, those evolutions have led Dr. Scott to question if the entire week of finals was really necessary, hinting at the fact that the entire idea of finals may be in discussion to go away.

“Eventually we’ll probably re-visit the idea of finals week.  Do we really need to have finals? Do we need to do them all during that week? Or can everybody just give a culminating test when it makes sense, or even break it apart into different sections of a test or have it be performance-based rather than multiple choice,” the principal explained.

No finals?  Before getting too carried away, Dr. Scott explained that the process would be more long-term than short-term.  

“That’s policy and procedure, so that would be done on a district level.  It would have to be the same rules at Vernon Hills [High School],” Dr. Scott stated.  

Typically, this process starts with a committee, which proposes an idea.  From there, a team is put together with representatives from Libertyville, Vernon Hills, and a District 128 administrator.  They conduct research, such as student and faculty feedback, along with information on what other schools in the area are doing on that specific topic.  One example Dr. Scott provided where this type of committee got involved was when the district decided to eliminate class rankings.  

When asked if she thought that senior final exemptions would ever be taken away, Dr. Scott responded that she didn’t believe so.

“I think if it were eliminated, it would be eliminated with finals in general.  I can’t see that we would eliminate that just for the sake of eliminating that particular portion, like we would still have finals but we would get rid of senior exemptions.  There would be no reason to [eliminate senior exemptions] that we see right now.  Especially if I’m the leader of the building still, I’m influenced by the fact that it’s motivating.”

She explained that the main reason behind the exemptions was the fact that it was supposed to be motivating for seniors, so that they don’t fall victim to “senioritis.”  Other schools in the area have similar procedures in place.  For example, Stevenson High School has a slightly stricter policy in place, according to their handbook online.  It states that “second semester seniors who have an ‘A-’ average and students in AP courses who took the AP exam and have a ‘C-’ average may be exempt from final exams.”

For example, Dr. Scott stated that the previous high school she worked at, Fremd High School, had a procedure in place that would allow seniors with a B or above, who have missed fewer than four classes, to exempt from their final exam.  

For now, it seems that senior final exemptions at LHS aren’t going anywhere, and finals themselves may be on the verge of going away one day.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Setting the Rumor Straight: Senior Exemptions Aren’t Leaving