By: Michelle M.
Students who sat for an AP exam in May do not need to take a final for that class they. However, “it is left to teacher discretion as to whether or not they need to be present for the exam period. The exception to this is for classes where the students have not sat for an AP exam in May or who may be in a two-year cycle for an AP program,” said Duxbury High School Principal Andrew Stephens.
Many students agree with this policy. Freshman Rachel K. said she thought students who take an AP exam should be exempt from the final because they had already taken the AP exam and could use the time to study for other classes. Junior Meghan P. said, “I don’t think a final exam is necessary because [students] are basically taking two finals.”
Other students think taking a final exam could benefit students. Senior Lacey D. said that taking a final exam wouldn’t hurt because then students would continue to be productive until the end of the year.
Some students think they should be exempt from taking the final but should still turn in a project or stay productive until the last day of school. Junior Jill S. said, “I think students should still be doing something, but the work should be less intense.” Sophomore Kevin C. agrees with Jill and said that the workload should ease off but not stop completely.
DHS Teachers are finding ways to keep their AP students learning after the AP exam. DHS teacher Mr. Kennedy said that after his AP students take their AP exam he has them write a research paper because he know that his students need to stay productive. AP history teacher Mr. Bagshaw has his AP students creating National History Day projects and AP English teacher Mrs.Woodworth’s AP students are working on a project called This Duxbury Life. Both these assignments require students to do research in and out of the classroom before the final presentation day.
Vice Principal Mark Talbot said, “ The issue is the distinction between the juniors and the seniors.” According to the student handbook seniors are only exempt from their finals if they have maintained a 90% average and have not had more than three unexcused absences in a semester course or five unexcused absences in a year long course. Talbot said, “juniors still have three to four weeks of school after their AP exams. [Juniors] should still be learning new material before the final exams in June.”