High School Exams/Finals.

Good morning, Parents.

Over the last few years, when recent graduates have come back to visit, or we have made attempts to survey them about their readiness for the next chapter of their lives, we have fairly consistently heard comments such as the two below about finals.

“I think OHS should have finals.  I was not prepared for the demands of a finals week.”

“The area I was least prepared for were finals because I never had that experience in high school.” 

In college, and to a similar degree, in tech. school, some of the most challenging times for new students are at mid-terms and semester finals.  Papers come due and you have a big comprehensive test in every class that requires a lot of studying to be adequately prepared.  It is a busy, and sometimes stressful time for many students, and over the years our recent graduates have shared with us that they feel that if they had been exposes to similar demands in high school, they would have been better prepared for these critical times in their post high school experiences.


With this feedback in mind, we have been discussing as a faculty for a couple of years now the idea of bringing finals back, at least for the fall semester.  Recently, we concluded that it would be a very good idea not only because it would prepare students who are going on to college or tech school for these demanding experiences, but also because an additional cumulative assessment of what our students can do in terms of the most important stuff in our classes is also a good idea from a learning perspective.

We built a three day exam schedule that is a mix of mass exams in courses that have two or more sections and our normal 8 block schedule.  A few classes will likely not be giving exams, such as PE, Band, Choir, and Art, but those classes will meet as scheduled during the exam process.  Having a three day schedule allows students to have 5-7 exams spread over a three day period is more reasonable than if they had the same number of exams in our normal schedule over two days.  The fact that all of these exams will be cumulative exams covering all of the essential learning from the whole first semester will challenge students to ramp up their review preparations for these three days.

Since the vast majority of the senior exams will not happen during mass exams but rather during the scheduled blocks, we are planning on having open campus for seniors (only) for all three days.  We will also have open campus for all high school students on the last day, Friday, January 19th.

Parents, please begin asking your children about their advanced preparations and review for exams shortly after the New Year.  It will take some time to review the essential standards for each class and one of the critical things for our students to learn about exams during high school is the need to begin preparations in a timely way.  Exams may happen over three days, but the student’s preparations must begin a week or more in advance so that they can be fully prepared in every class.  They cannot wait until the exams begin to start their preparation because they simply will not have enough time to review for all of their classes sufficiently.   That is very likely the most important lesson of the exam experience, and it is one that we hope parents will help us teach our students.

Thanks, Scott

Fall Semester Exam Schedule—’17-‘18

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018: Day 2 (Open Campus for Seniors Only)

7:25-8:55         English Mass Exams:                                        (Proctors are listed in parentheses)

                        American Lit—Multi Ed Room

                        English 10—Cafeteria

                        English 9—Rm. 125 (Ohlfs), 131 (Antes), 130 (Anderson)

                        Personal Finance Mass Exam (Juniors independently) 123 (Boenisch) 124 (Kempf)

 9:00-10:27      Block #1

                        Health Mass Exam—Multi Ed Room

 11:31-12:58    Block #2

                        Spanish 3 Mass Exam—Multi Ed Room

1:03-2:30         Social Studies Mass Exams:

                        US History—Multi Ed Room

                        World History—HS Cafeteria (Galezio)

                        Civics—104 (Ehrhorn), 106 (Doro), 108 (Nyenhuis)

                        Social Problems Mass Exam—Multi-Ed Room (Otte)

Thursday, January 18th, 2018: Day 1 (Open Campus for Seniors Only)

7:25-8:55         Science Mass Exams:

                        Physics—124 (Howell), 128 (Louis), 129 (Poppe)

                        Chemistry—HS Cafeteria

                        Biology—Multi Ed Room

                        Anatomy Mass Exam—Multi Ed Room

9:00-10:27       Block #3

11:31-12:58     Block #4

                        Spanish 2 Mass Exam—Multi Ed Room

                        Spanish 1 Mass Exam—Rm 108 (Cole), 106 (Hansen)

                        AP Calc. Mass Exam—Room 102, 11:31-2:30

1:03-2:30         Math Mass Exams:

                        Algebra 2—Multi Ed Room

                        Geometry—HS Cafeteria

                        Algebra 1—128 (Hilbelink), 131 (Leidall)

                        Stats—129 (Hendrikse)

                        Pre-Calc. Mass Exam—Multi-Ed Room (Madson)

Friday, January 19th, 2018: Day 2 (Open Campus for All Students)

7:25-8:55         Block #5

                        Nutrition Mass Exam—Multi Ed Room.

9:00-10:27       Block #6

11:31-12:58     Block #7

1:03-2:30         Block #8