Waiver allows change to year-end schedule

Seniors’ last day of classes will be May 8; all finals canceled

Seniors+Meredith+Duffy+and+Audrey+McKinney+work+in+the+library+earlier+this+school+year.+For+them+and+their+fellow+members+of+the+Class+of+2020%2C+their+last+day+of+classes+will+be+May+8.+

Gracie Carr

Seniors Meredith Duffy and Audrey McKinney work in the library earlier this school year. For them and their fellow members of the Class of 2020, their last day of classes will be May 8.

Jackson Hern, Reporter

Indiana schools must conduct classes on 180 school days in a typical school year. This is not a typical school year.

When Gov Eric Holcomb announced on April 2 that all Hoosier schools would remain closed for the rest of the year, he also announced that schools could apply for a waiver to reduce their number of school days year from 180 to 160.

Rather than altering the schedule and just release students 20 days early, administrators decided to take advantage of the state waiver days while still sticking to the traditional timetable for the end of the year.

Since classes have resumed post spring break, the school has offered students and teachers Holy Cross days on most Wednesdays, on which classes and homework are canceled, students get a break and teachers are allowed time to grade and plan for upcoming eLearning days.

Principal Mrs. Julie Barthel shared why this schedule change was implemented. “We made the change to find a balance between continuing our high quality education and the emotional and physical well being of students and teachers,” she said.

This schedule takes advantage of the state waiver days while still allowing students to finish their education for the year without compromising any of their learning. The decision to alter the schedule was ultimately made by the Academic Innovation Team, which is composed of members of the faculty and staff, including Mr. Mark Matthews, who serves as the interim vice principal for academics as well as a member of the social studies department.

“The overall response to the Holy Cross Days has been positive,” said Matthews. “Students and teachers have enjoyed having a day off for planning, family time, and simply catching up.”

In addition to the Holy Cross Days, Barthel has announced that final exams for all students in all four grades have been canceled. Quarter 3 and quarter 4 will each make up 50% of the final semester grade for the class. May 8 will be the last date of regular classes for seniors, with the week of May 11 to May 15 reserved for seniors to finish coursework for Quarter 4, meet with teachers, get additional support and take AP exams.

Meanwhile, May 15 will the last day of regular classes for all other students, with the week of May 18 to May 22 reserved for them to complete any required work as needed.

Due to the uncertainty regarding the exact timeline of the coronavirus pandemic, summer school classes have been moved online.

“We are very proud of our educators and how they have continued to support and educate students in a grace-filled, holistic manner,” stated Barthel in her announcement.