Students find a sense of relief after final exams are cancelled

Freshman+Junsei+Tanizaki+concentrates+on+his+assignments+as+in+Christopher+Falks+English+Humanities+class.+Final+exams+for+semester+1+were+cancelled+this+school+year+due+to+the+virtual+learning+program+and+COVID-19.

Charlize Guadiello

Freshman Junsei Tanizaki concentrates on his assignments as in Christopher Falk’s English Humanities class. Final exams for semester 1 were cancelled this school year due to the virtual learning program and COVID-19.

Taro Tsuji, Staff Writer

Mid-Pacific leaders cancelled the semester final exams this year due to students opting for virtual learning and COVID-19, and many students said they felt a sense of relief.

Mid-Pacific announced Nov. 24 through MyPueo that cumulative final exams are canceled during the week of Dec. 14. Instead, students may be assigned unit assessments and projects that will be weighted equally to similar assignments throughout the semester.

Last school year, the end of year final exams cancelation occurred because of the closure of campus due to COVID-19. However, this year some students are learning in-person and many are also learning virtually from home.

Some students said they agreed with the cancellation of finals because of the circumstances of COVID-19 and trying to stay physically and mentally healthy.

“I agree with the cancelation just because more stress got put onto students and their families right now, and there was already going to be a lot of stress with finals and that could be too much stress for people who are currently struggling at home,” said sophomore Maddie Ibarra.

Junior Skyelar Wong said he kept in mind the concern of his health when it came to going back to school this semester. Wong opted to stay virtual and attend school from home to take care of his family and reduce his risks of getting COVID-19.

“I agree with the cancelation just because more stress got put onto students and their families right now, and there was already going to be a lot of stress with finals and that could be too much stress for people who are currently struggling at home.””

— Maddie Ibarra, sophomore

“I 100 percent agree with the cancelation, and we should keep it to a minimum. I believe that it is very important, especially now that we have a lot of students on campus to take precautions,” said Wong.

Additionally, students said they had concerns about the condition of their grades and the risk of them dropping from final exams.

“I think it’s good for finals to be cancelled because there isn’t a chance for my grades to drop a lot if I do bad on the finals,” said sophomore Dylan Wheeler.

Freshman Alika Onaga said he was concerned about having to take a two-hour test in a room while wearing his masks and shield while being uncomfortable and making it difficult to do his best.

“Going back to campus, it’s already hard enough to stay focused in class because I’m uncomfortable with the mask and stuff,” said Onaga.

High school Latin teacher Janice Rieger, a teacher at Mid-Pacific for 27 years, said she was given a variety of options as alternates for the final exams. Rieger chose to continue the work and quizzes she was giving her students since she had more than enough material to assess her students on by the end of the semester.

“Well we actually had a really nice choice. We could do a larger assessment by the end of the semester. We could have also done a project or choose to continue with the work they were currently doing in the semester, which is what I decided to do for this semester,” said Rieger.

Some students said they disagree with the idea of a 2-hour final exam concept and it should generally be scratched as a whole.

“We learn so much information in one semester and it’s hard to memorize all that information. So I definitely think as a school we should keep the cancelation of finals because as a learner I can prove that I’m learning if we just take quizzes and projects in certain sections and move on,” said Ibarra.

Wong said he thinks Mid-Pacific can have the students show their understanding of a course in a semester clearer than a standard final.

“Some students, like me, get scared from big tests and I believe instead we should have a different way of displaying our learning. There’s a lot of possibilities that Mid-Pacific can do and plus, we are a very creative school and there are a lot of creative ideas where we, as students, can show our learning at school instead of finals,” said Wong.