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The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

New end-of-semester finals requirement leads to three-day testing schedule

New format brings changes to testing, dismissal, study hall
Winter+Finals+Schedule
Winter Finals Schedule

For the first time in Gretna Public Schools’ history, high school students will have traditional finals which are scheduled to start in 12 days, and they will be divided into a three-day schedule. On Dec. 19, students will take their finals for first, fifth and eighth hour classes. On Dec. 20, students will take their second, sixth, and seventh hour finals, and then on Dec. 21, students will take their third hour final.
Classes will be 80 minutes long each, but AEP and lunch hour will remain the same with AEP being 20 minutes long and lunch being 30 minutes for each of the three lunches. Dismissal for the day will be at 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday if students pass their finals for the day and have no missing or incomplete work. On Thursday dismissal will be at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday for those who have no missing or incomplete work and passed their final for the day. If students fail their final on any of the days, or have missing or incomplete work, they will have to stay at school past the early dismissal time for academic intervention (AI).
According to Principal Chad Jepsen, most finals, with the exception of a few elective classes, will consist of mostly multiple choice and/or short answer questions so that they can be easily assessed before the end of the 80-minute block. Additionally, the final is not allowed to be worth more than 10% of the student’s grade.
“They [teachers] have to have the ability to look at it and know quickly by the end of the hour that you did well enough,” Jepsen said. “They need to be able to tell you if you passed at least, and it’s something where there shouldn’t be any secrets or surprises.”
To address the Day 1 and Day 2 schedules, PE students will go to PE and Health students will go to Health to take their finals during the period six finals time. All treble/bass Day 1 and Day 2 students will go to PE and all Health Day 1 and Day 2 go to Health during seventh period for their final. On Tuesday and Wednesday, at 11:15 a.m., Advanced Choir, bass and treble choirs should report to choir teacher, Patrick Ribar for their final.
“Day 1/Day 2 are designated for either PE (or health) /Study hall or PE/Choir. Day 1 AND Day 2 PE classes are both going to PE on the same day to do their final. Choir students are going to take their PE final during that period, and we have arranged for them to do their choir final during the 5th period study hall/lunch time,” Vice Principal, Jami Ewer said.
Students will still have to report to their normal fifth period classroom on Tuesday and Wednesday from 11:15 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. for lunch and study hall. The study hall time will be considered “red zone” so students can study for their tests and work on completing assignments. Students will not be allowed to play games on their laptops nor visit other teachers.
“Study hall time is expected to be quiet and time to prepare for the next final,” Ewer said.
On Thursday, lunch will only be served to students who stay for the AI portion of the day.
According to Jepsen, one thing to note is that if a student has study hall during their normal third period, they will not be required to attend school on Dec. 21, unless they are assigned AI time, since they wouldn’t have a final that day.
At the end of the semester students will be expected to have all of their school work complete, library books turned in, and their fees paid before they are clear to go on winter break. Those students who have fees to pay will be notified by administration in advance.
Administration also strategically organized the schedule so that morning classes were scheduled for the morning and afternoon classes in the afternoon.
“​​We were trying to make sure we did think of those kids that leave early for Metro classes and things like that,” Jepsen said, “We didn’t put any morning classes in the afternoon, because we know that that will not work for kids and we didn’t want kids to leave and have to come back to take a final.”
Additionally, each course must give the same test as their counterparts at the school and at Gretna High School. Teachers will provide students with any materials such as study guides they would need prior to their assigned final day.
“We wanted to make sure that every student that was taking English 10 CP [for example] was given the same assessment,” Jepsen said, “We wanted to make sure that every teacher that was giving that assessment was doing it the same in both buildings.”
With this process being new to GPS, administration will welcome feedback at the conclusion of first semester finals.
“I don’t mind trying to make them [finals] better as we go, so we’ll see. Maybe we’ll tweak it a little bit after the first while we get some feedback,” Jepsen said.

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Leena Macklin, Reporter
As a first-year on staff, sophomore Leena Macklin is excited. While working her way up to the top, she earns her role on the Wingspan’s staff as a reporter. Journalism is new to her, and by preparing for this year she attended Journalism Camp at the University Of Lincoln. Outside of our newsroom, she does lots of acting and cross country in her free time. Macklin has many people she looks up to, but her journalistic inspiration is Wingspan Editor-in-Chief, Madeline Petrick, who got her to commit to Journalism.
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