Midterms are held yearly, however this year is different. The consensus from Norwich Free Academy building principals and department heads is that students will have less stress and more learning time by making the decision to cancel midterms this year.
Ross Sward, the principal of Tirrell explained the process of coming up with the idea to cancel the exam.
“It was a real team decision. The building principals meet with the department chairs, what we call heads of department, and we had numerous discussions about our current learning and teaching situation, and looking at [the] traditional midterm process and what the benefits were,” said Sward.
The administration team didn’t just want to decide themselves about midterms, they wanted teachers’ feedback as well.
“The department chairs also polled the teachers, so the teachers had a voice in this as well,” said Sward.
Karen Cook, head of the History department, thinks not having midterms this year is the best idea because she wants students to succeed this semester.
“We can’t ensure academic integrity and we wanted to give our students the best possible opportunity to finish the semester strong, we didn’t want to end with a big assessment. We wanted to use those last couple of weeks. So instead of having all tests for those five days we now have more instructional time and we have more opportunity to help students to complete make up work and to get back on track,”said Cook.
Joceline Rodrigues Monteiro, a senior at NFA, is grateful there aren’t midterms this year.
“I love it because the past four years basically I’ve had every single midterm because my schedule has basically been built up completely,”said Monteiro.
Even in a normal year, midterms are stressful. Having a big exam during a pandemic can be too much and overwhelming.
“It’s a lot of stress honestly to be able to study for a midterm and while being in a pandemic is really intense. Studying for midterms alone is already stressful because you have to cram three months of material into one week,” said Monteiro.
Due to the administration team’s decision not to have midterms, there is more time to finish school work, turn in late assignments, and less stress for students. Students should ask teachers for more help if needed.