Finals Week Breakdown


Photo by Campolindo High School

Carly Hoskins, Broadcast and At-Large Editor

This year’s finals week will take place Monday, May 24 to Thursday, May 27, abiding by the hybrid schedule instead of the usual finals model held in previous years. The usual asynchronous Monday will be removed, and the schedule will move up a day in order to hold Graduation on Friday afternoon.

AUHSD decided to make the schedule more flexible, meaning teachers get to decide if their final will take place with Cohort A in-person, Cohort B in-person, or both. The administration encouraged teachers to give finals based on presentations, projects, or written assignments as opposed to the usual multiple choice-based tests to accommodate the tightly packed schedule. 

Jyllian Smith, the geology and AP Environmental Science teacher plans to make her final more project-based this year instead of a formal test. “I have used the last few weeks of class to have students work on a final project instead of giving a traditional test in order to help mitigate some of the stress at the end of the year and celebrate the AP test being over,” Smith said.

Some students believe this year’s finals schedule has helped relieve the usual stresses of the end of a semester. “The finals this year seem to be less dense because teachers understand that it’s been a very long and painful year,” junior Donovan Davidson said.

In previous years, finals week consisted of a special schedule with one or two, two-hour periods a day over four days. This year’s finals schedule has not changed from the current school weeks in hybrid to ensure continuity and consistency for students after the switch to hybrid. Teachers must also give students the option to take it at home or online, based on their preference, to ensure testing equality between cohorts. Students must work with their teachers individually if they prefer to take the final online as opposed to in-person, or vice versa, on the assigned day of their final. 

Additionally, students taking the final in-person are guaranteed the same resources that a student taking the final at home would have, such as the internet or notes. This keeps students’ schedules balanced and ensures that they do not have too many tests in one day.

“I know that a lot more teachers have changed the way they present finals because everyone knows that cheating does exist. Instead of focusing on getting the right answer, it is more of a focus on showing the steps of getting to that answer. Cheating is inevitably going to happen, but I think just allowing different opportunities and different test methods will hopefully help,” Vice Principal Sara Harris said. Harris views this year’s finals week as more of a reflection of how the year went and students’ progress as a whole rather than their specific grade on the final.

While there is some concern that students will not be properly tested at the end of the year like they usually are, most teachers feel that the changed finals week is fitting for this year. “From distance learning to hybrid, this year is all about being flexible and helping the students to thrive and continue to grow in a difficult situation. Doing a traditional Latin final in the traditional schedule would not be the best fit for our Latin students for the end of this year,” Latin teacher Matt Davis said.