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January 6th, 2021 Final Exams Special Message

Good afternoon, this is Steve Mares, principal of Athens Drive Magnet High School, with a special message regarding Final Exams for Wednesday, January 6th. A copy of this message will be posted on our school website (www.wcpss.net/athensdrivehs), tweeted on our school Twitter account, emailed to our students, and emailed and texted to our school families.

 

NEW OR UPDATED ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

I hope you all had a tremendous Holiday break and you all remained healthy and safe throughout! It has been great to have our students back in classes working hard to finish the Second Quarter and First Semester in a positive manner! It is hard to believe that we only have two more days of classes for the First Semester of this school year!

 

I wanted to share information regarding our Final Exams next week. Please read this information carefully so that your students are prepared and understand all the information related to our Final Exams.

 

FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE: Our Final Exam Schedule can be found on the front page of the Athens Drive website at this link: https://www.wcpss.net/Page/46688. Please remember that students do NOT have classes next week, only Final Exams. Please know that each day we will have Exams for One Period, with a Make-Up day on Friday, January 15th. Here are the details:

 

  • Monday, January 11th—First Period Final Exams
    • 7:25 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.: State Exams will be administered in person on campus.
    • 12:15 p.m. until 2:18 p.m.: Teacher Made Exams will be administered remotely.
  • Tuesday, January 12th—Second Period Final Exams
    • 7:25 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.: State Exams will be administered in person on campus.
    • 12:15 p.m. until 2:18 p.m.: Teacher Made Exams will be administered remotely.
  • Wednesday, January 13th—Third Period Final Exams
    • 7:25 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.: State Exams will be administered in person on campus.
    • 12:15 p.m. until 2:18 p.m.: Teacher Made Exams will be administered remotely.
  • Thursday, January 14th—Fourth Period Final Exams
    • 7:25 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.: State Exams will be administered in person on campus.
    • 12:15 p.m. until 2:18 p.m.: Teacher Made Exams will be administered remotely.
  • Friday, January 15th—Make-Up Day for Final Exams
    • 7:25 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.: State Exams will be administered in person on campus.
    • 7:25 a.m. until 9:25 a.m.: Teacher Made Exams will be administered remotely. Students need to

work with their individual teacher to schedule Make-Up Exam.

 

Students should arrive on campus to have enough time to complete their Health Screening, enter the building, and find their Testing location. We will begin allowing students to enter the building at 6:55 a.m. We will have staff located throughout the school to inform students where they will be taking their State Exam. We realize that we have students who have never stepped foot in Athens Drive, and please know that we will be assisting all students in finding their testing location! Students who come to campus to take their State Exams will need to leave campus immediately following the conclusion of the Exam at 11:45 a.m. Breakfast and Lunch will be available for ALL students for free. In the morning, students can go to the Cafeteria to pick up their Breakfast and eat it. For Lunch, students can stop by the Cafeteria to get a “grab-and-go” Lunch and take it with them to their point of departure. Buses will leave campus by 12:00 p.m. All students must leave campus at the end of the session and be off campus by 12:00 p.m.

 

TRANSPORTATION AND STUDENT ENTRANCES TO SCHOOL FOR FINAL EXAMS: Students will be able to take a bus, be dropped off in carpool, or drive to school during Final Exam week. To provide our Health Screening protocols in a safe and efficient manner, we have developed procedures that all students and families must follow when you come to campus:

 

  • Bus Transportation: We should be receiving Bus Transportation route information from Wake County Public School System Transportation at any time. Once we receive that information, we will be posting the information to our website for students and families to know where their Bus Stop is located. Buses will ride their entire route each morning of Final Exam week. Buses will leave campus by 12:00 p.m. to take students home.
  • Student Entrances for Final Exams: Please know that we will be using only four entrances for students to enter the school each day:
    • Front Door Entrance: This entrance will be used for our Special Education students only. The entrance off Athens Drive will now be for Special Transportation ONLY and will not be used for any Carpool traffic. Only Special Education Transportation should enter the campus via the Athens Drive entrance.
    • Library Entrance: This entrance will be used for our Carpool students only. ALL students who are carpooling will be required to only use the entrance off Avent Ferry Road into our "Junior Lot" to go through our carpool line. Students must NOT be dropped off anywhere else on campus if they are being driven to campus.
    • Stairwell B Entrance: This entrance will be used for students who come to school via Yellow Bus Transportation. Our buses will still be utilizing the Bus Loop entrance off Avent Ferry Road to access the Bus Loop and drop off/pick up students. Students who ride our buses will only be able to enter the building via the Stairwell B entrance.
    • Gym/Auditorium Lobby Entrance: This entrance will be used for students who drive to school and walk to school. ALL students who drive to school will be parking in the "Senior Lot." Because we have not assigned spaces, Juniors and Seniors who are driving to campus can park anywhere in the Senior Lot and Stadium Parking Lot. Students must not park anywhere else on campus.

 

HEALTH SCREENING FOR ENTRANCE INTO SCHOOL: Please know that all students will be undergoing a Health Screening prior to entering the building. The Health Screening process contains two parts, a symptom-screening checklist of questions and a temperature check using a touchless thermometer. Please note the following regarding Health Screening:

 

  • Carpool Students: Carpool students will be screened in their vehicle. Students cannot leave their vehicle until they have passed the Health Screening. If a student does not pass the first Health Screening (e.g., the student has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, etc.), the vehicle needs to pull forward into our waiting area and we will re-screen the student after five minutes. If the student does not pass the second time, they will not be able to take their State Exam that day. I would advise students and families to be careful of the car temperature (e.g., having the heat blasting in the car, etc.), as a hot car can increase the temperature of a student and cause a high reading from our thermometers.
  • Bus Transportation Students: Students who arrive on campus by bus will exit the bus and move to the Stairwell B Entrance where they will be screened. If a student does not pass their Health Screening, they will be taken to the Health Room and a family member will be called, and that student will need to pick up immediately and taken home.
  • Drivers and Walkers: Any student who arrives via their own transportation or walks to school will be screened at the Gym/Auditorium Lobby Entrance. If a student does not pass their Health Screening, they will need to drive back home or walk back home.

 

Please remember that all students and staff will always be required to wear a mask while on campus. In addition, students are required to follow the 3 W’s while on campus: Wear a Mask, Wait 6 feet apart, and Wash their hands.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING STANDARDS: Please know that we have prepared our school to support a safe administration of our State Exams. No testing situation will have more than 15 students in the testing room, we will be sanitizing the computers between use, we will be cleaning the rooms each night, all seats where students are sitting to test in the room are at least six feet apart from each other, students will be required to stay 6 feet apart from other students, students will be required to move through the halls staying to the right and not stopping to talk with other students, we have hall monitors to ensure that the capacity numbers for our restrooms are not surpassed, etc. I do feel confident that we can administer our State Exams on campus in a manner that keeps students and staff safe and avoids any individual exposures (closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes). However, I do realize that I am going to need our students help to achieve this outcome. I am asking that all students make positive decisions while on campus to socialize only in ways that are socially distant, stay six feet apart from others as they wait for transportation, etc. We are all in this together and it is up to all of us to take care of each other and do the right thing to remain safe.

 

GRADING FOR STATE EXAMS: Please remember the following information regarding the Grading for State Exams:

 

  • The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has provided School Districts with the ability to adjust the scoring scale for State Tests. For the 2020 – 2021 school year, WCPSS has implemented the following scale for EOC and CTE Post Assessments:
    • Minimum Score of 60: The grading scale for State Assessments will include a minimum score of 60. Thus, no student will fail a course as a direct result of their score on a State Test.
    • Exam Score Only Improves Course Average: If a student’s score on the State Exam is lower than the combined average of the First Quarter and Second Quarter grade, the student’s Exam score will be curved to equal their course average. For example, if a student has a 90% for First Quarter and a 96% for Second Quarter, then the First and Second Quarter combined average is a 93%. If the student scores lower than a 93% on the State Exam, the State Exam score will be curved to a 93% and the student will earn a 93% for the Final Grade. Thus, the student will earn at least a 93% for the course unless they receive a score on the State Exam that is higher than 93%. In that case, if a student scores higher than the combined average of the First and Second Quarter on the State Exam, the student’s grade would improve when factoring in the State Exam score.
    • Transcript: Please know that the original EOC scale score, achievement level, and percentile will be printed on a student’s transcript in the Testing Results section. However, only the Final Grade for the student is posted in the Grades portion of the Transcript, and not the Quarter grades or Exam Grade.

 

IF A STUDENT DOES NOT TAKE THE STATE EXAM: If a student does not take his/her State Test during our Final Exam week next week, the student will earn an Incomplete (INC) on their Report Card for the course and can defer taking the State Test until June 2021. The student would take the Exam during the same window when we would offer Second Semester Final Exams.

 

MEDICAL EXEMPTION: If a student has a specific medical condition that prevents him/her from being able to attend school and take the State Test, the student/family can apply for a Medical Waiver. Please contact Ms. Seese (vseese@wcpss.net), our Testing Coordinator, to apply for the Medical Waiver.

 

SENIOR EXAM EXEMPTIONS: Seniors who have a Final Grade of “C” or better in a course that does not require a State Exam are exempt from taking their Final Exam. Attendance will not count toward Senior Exam Exemptions this school year. The grade for the Senior who chooses to use their Senior Exam Exemption will be the average of the First Quarter Grade (counting 50%) and the average of the Second Quarter Grade (50%).

 

TEACHER MADE FINAL EXAMS: Teacher Made Final Exams are all being administered remotely. Teachers have shared information with their students regarding the administration of these Final Exams. For students who take the Teacher-Made Exam, their Exam score will only be included if it supports a higher final average. The Teacher-Made Exam counts 20% of a student’s final Grade for the course (40% for First Quarter, 40% for Second Quarter, and 20% for Final Exam).

 

  • For students who do not take the Teacher-Made Exam, their final grade will be the average of the First Quarter Grade (counting 50%) and the average of the Second Quarter Grade (50%).
  • Teacher-Made Exams will all be held remotely, and students do NOT come to school to take these Exams.
  • Please know that Teacher-Made Exams may be project-based, portfolio, or a performance-based assessment and may be started and completed prior to the Final Exam period.

 

REQUIRED FORMS TO COMPLETE: Please remember that there are two forms that students are required to complete prior to returning to campus:

 

  • Student Accountability and Required Health Protocols Form: WCPSS has created a Student Accountability and Required Health Protocols Form requiring parents to sign and submit it to our school. By signing this form, students and families are certifying that they have read and understand the Student Accountability standards that WCPSS has created for Final Exams and In-Person instruction. We will need every student who will come to school to take a State Exam to complete this form and return it to school. I would ask that you please complete the Signature Page and email it to Ms. Martin, our Student Services Department Data Manager, at lmartin@wcpss.net. Please know that due to challenges students and families may have in completing this form, we will not deny access to State Exams to any student who comes to school, even if they do not have this form. We will have hard copies of the form available for students to get and take home to have parents/guardians sign the form as well. The form can then be returned the next day a student returns to school.
  • Bus Transportation Health Attestation Form: Bus transportation will be provided to students during Final Exam week. Every WCPSS student who will ride District-provided transportation will have to complete a one-time Online Health Attestation Form. If you are planning on returning to school to take a Final Exam or for In-Person learning in the Spring Semester, you must have this form completed prior to being able to ride the bus. Please know that due to challenges students and families may have in completing this form, we will not deny access to State Exams to any student who comes to school, even if they do not have this form.

 

THANK YOU: I know this is a lot of information, but I hope it makes sense and allows you to understand the rules and expectations that are in place right now for our Final Exams. Thank you for reading this information and becoming familiar with our Final Exam Schedule and requirements. Please understand that these policies are different from previous years in several ways, so it is important that students understand the various Final Exams and what they need to do for each course they are taking. I am so appreciative of the outstanding efforts of our students and staff throughout these challenging times. I am also so appreciative of our school families for your incredible support. I am thankful that we are all a part of Athens Drive family and I look forward to a strong, successful finish to our First Semester.