Breaking News: First semester final exams canceled

Superintendent makes call as Covid-19 cases spike among student body


New Trier website

On Jan. 4 school leaders announced that all first semester exams will be canceled due to the growing cases of Covid-19 in the school

On Tuesday, in an email to parents, Superintendent Paul Sally announced that first semester final exams have been canceled. The change was made due to an increasing number of students having to quarantine because of the spike of  COVID-19 Omicron cases, according to Sally. 

“We also know this latest wave of COVID has affected many families, and students are concerned about missing class if they are quarantined, particularly before final exams.” 

The exams were originally going to take place Jan. 18-20 in a traditional 3-day format.  Jan. 21 was a scheduled Grading Day. Instead, Jan. 18-19 will be a Blue and Green Day, respectively, and Jan. 20 will be a Semester Make-Up Day with no mandatory attendance. Jan. 17 and 21 will remain days off for students. 

Despite changes to exams and increasing case numbers, the school plans to continue in-person learning as long as officials consider it safe and have enough staff to do so, the email said. Sally cited the social and emotional health benefits of in-person learning.  On Tuesday, 1066 new COVID-19 cases were reported in  New Trier Township, according to the school’s dashboard. In addition, the positivity rate from Monday’s Shield testing was 4.58%. Tests, which were saliva screenings, were administered on Monday and Tuesday in Kinetic Wellness classes.

Students will continue to have assessments in their classes, as long as they are not cumulative. Unit tests and quizzes, as well as projects, are still fair game. In addition, Language Proficiency Assessments will be held by MCL classes during the week of Jan. 10. Teachers also have been encouraged to work with students to give extra support and makeup opportunities to those who miss school because of COVID.

For students, the cancellation provides a nice break from an ordinarily stressful January, but for seniors, it is a missed opportunity to prepare for college finals. 

“It’s nice to have that stress taken off and to have a break, but at the same time it feels weird because you thought you were getting ready to prepare for something so there’s no close to the first semester. I’m a little worried about college because we’ve only had three real finals in our high school career, and I’m sure college finals will be normal. It makes sense for COVID concerns as well,” said senior Cate Regan.