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Final Exemptions for Seniors

By: Rheanna Valentine/Senior Writer

The end of the school year is a very stressful time for students, especially for seniors, as they are ending chapters and starting new ones. To help relieve this stress seniors are given the privilege to be exempt from finals, although, this exemption only happens when specific requirements are meant. 

When referring to the student handbook the qualifications listed are that the student must have 10 or less missed classes per subject (for the entire year), and the student must have a current grade of 93% or above in a specific class to be exempt from taking a final in that class. 

Since the grading criteria for the district was recently changed, students are wondering if the requirements for exemptions will follow the old grading criteria or the new, current criteria. Prior to the changes, 93 to 100 % was considered an A. Now, 90 to 100 % is considered an A. So, doesn’t this mean the requirement should also be lowered. The other question brought to attention is why excused absences count for the 10 days. If students’ absences are caused due to sickness or they have health-related appointments it should not be held against them. When it comes to unexcused days it makes complete sense to hold that standard, but excused days shouldn’t be held to the same expectations.

When Principal Casey Webster was asked, she explained that “all of the requirements are in the student handbook.”

Yet, those handbook requirements are still based off of the old grading system.

When students were asked how they felt about it the constant answer was that the requirements should have been changed as well.

Senior Caila George stated that if the grading system was changed the grading qualifications should be changed as well. She also said that many students experience injuries or have to go to the doctor’s office for personal reasons and can’t avoid being absent. George concludes that as long as there is a certified excuse, the absence shouldn’t be held against the student.  

With most students agreeing with the idea that qualifications should be changed when grading systems are changed (and excused absences shouldn’t be held against students), a change should be made. The bottom line of a 93 should not be expected if a 90 is an A in the new grading system. Excused absences also shouldn’t be a qualification, because often times students don’t get to choose the times of their appointments and appointments are necessary excuses. As long as there is a legitimate note from a doctor it should not be apart of the 10 days absent. 

senor sunrise, taken by Vince Lorusso
Class of 2024 at the Senior Sunrise. Photo by: Vince LoRusso

Read an article from the archives about senior privilege here:

Read about another type of senior privilege here:


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rheanna valenitne
rheanna valenitne
Rheanna Valentine is a first year journalism student, and a senior at Blue Ridge School District. She enjoys participating in both cross country and track. She is involved in many clubs, but science club is her favorite. She has goals to go to college, in order to pursue on becoming a marine biologist.
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