Snow Days Lead Local Districts To Modify Finals Policy

Finals can only positively impact students grades, and sparks some debate

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Sruthi Ramesh

Meghan McVey studies for finals at StuCo's "Cookies Cocoa & Cramming"

Students and faculty in many Missouri school districts were bundled-up at home due to the snow days on Monday and Tuesday of this week. But many students were not relaxing. This week is finals week, which is arguably the most important and stressful week of the semester. Having two snow days during finals week only added stress on the majority of students, who now had no time to review for their exams. 

School districts such as Wentzville, Fort Zumwalt and Francis Howell have all modified their final exam policies for first semester because of the two snow days. All of the school districts follow the same general rule; that final exam scores only count if they positively affect your grade, with some exceptions in certain school districts. 

This policy is dividing students, teachers and parents. Some argue that the policy is not fair to the students who studied extensively for their exams, while others are worried about the freshman class and how this policy affects their first high-school finals experience. Some students feel less pressured while some students feel more pressure than before.

Freshman Rylee Dreisewerd was stressing out heavily about finals week before the snow days. From her perspective, this new policy is a great solution. 

I think the finals policy is beneficial and takes a lot of pressure off students,” Dreisewerd said. “I’m sure everyone was panicking about the snow days like I was. It’s a huge relief for students who were counting on Monday and Tuesday as review days.”

We had snow days because of an act of nature. It’s not like the district was conspiring with Russia to have two snow days or something. No one’s really getting away with anything.”

— Dr. Nelson

But while this policy may be beneficial to students, that doesn’t mean that stress over finals is gone. Even with pressure, Dreisewerd stays optimistic when it comes to final exams. 

I still definitely feel the pressure of finals. I want to do good and show my teachers what I learned,” Dreisewerd said. “If it can only improve my grade, why wouldn’t I try hard?”

With this being their first finals week, the freshman class is in a unique situation. Because the pressure of performing well was lifted from their shoulders, some say that this policy affects the class of 2023 more than other grade levels. The current saying is that freshmen “got off easy” with their first finals. However, the principal of Liberty High School, Dr. Ed Nelson, refutes this statement. 

“We had snow days because of an act of nature. It’s not like the district was conspiring with Russia to have two snow days or something,” Nelson joked. “No one’s really getting away with anything.”

Dreisewerd brings up a good point, stating how this finals policy serves as a sort of “free trial” to understand what high-school finals are truly like. 

This isn’t the way I expected finals to go at all,” Dreisewerd said. “I think it’s nice though because I can start to understand how finals work and it can’t bring down my grade.”

Despite the mild backlash that this policy is receiving, Dr. Nelson believes that the district made the right choice with the finals policy. 

“I think that the district chose a good solution. If you’re in charge, people are going to disagree with you,” Dr. Nelson said. “Some people think that the policy is fair while others believe it’s the worst thing that could have happened. It’s easy to criticize.” 

Dreisewerd also believes that the district chose the best solution.

I think the district handled the snow days perfectly,” Dreisewerd said. “If I was an administrator, I would be in a panic about these snow days.

Dismissing these pros and cons, it’s clear that local school districts all have the same thing in mind; making sure that their students have the opportunities and resources to succeed. No snow day can get in the middle of that.