Wrapping Up Semester One

Isabelle Friedman, JP Student Writer

Semester one of the 2020-2021 school year comes to an end on January 15, 2021. This year, finals will look different than last year. Last year, North Polk had a block schedule, so teachers could use the time to plan a longer test, lab, or project.

Jessica Allen, North Polk counselor, commented, “Technically, we will not be having finals at the end of the semester. Teachers will use their discretion to plan a summative assessment that demonstrates students have mastered the content of the course. This could be a test, quiz, project, lab, etc.”

Science teacher Aaron Dose will have unit tests for his classes. He explains that not having finals might be a good idea this year because it will limit stress and anxiety in students. However, he prefers block schedules.

Dose stated, “It allows for kids to see what a college atmosphere is like, and it gives kids plenty of time for extended tests, projects, and presentations.”

Allen stated that the block schedules can be advantageous for certain classes that need more time for tests, projects, and labs. Many students agree that block schedules are better for preparing for tests or getting extra time for projects and labs. 

“I prefer block schedules for finals because it’s nice to get the final out of the way in one period instead of splitting it into two days. A block schedule also allows for more time to study because classes are split into two days,” Audrey Wessels, a junior, explained. 

Although many students prefer block schedules, some students get bored when the classes are so long.

Senior Ben Perschall stated, “It makes it harder to focus in class.”

As 2020 comes to an end, so does everyone’s first semester. Teachers are hopeful that 2021 will run smoothly and students are excited for a change in classes.

Dose commented, “Looking forward to 2021, I think the school year has gone surprisingly well and 2021 will be even better!”