New finals schedule will consist of preparational periods, ACE

Ryan Zhang

As the final semester of the 2021-2022 school year approaches its final weeks, administrators adjusted the schedule for the last four days of this school year. Including May 20 and May 23 to 25, periods of Assessments & Culminating Experiences (A.C.E) will be incorporated into the school day. May 23 to 25 will be half days where periods of optional Preparation & Intervention Time (P&I) will replace the first two periods including lunchtime followed by two mandatory A.C.E periods.

According to Associate Principal Karen McDaniel, who manages the A.C.E schedule, A.C.E’s intention is to help students and further develop a system that moves away from traditional final exams.

“An A.C.E is anything that a teacher wants to engage you with. It can be a presentation or project,  maybe it’s a lab practical, maybe it’s an actual unit test. Maybe it’s a cumulative test across the semester, but it cannot weigh any more than any other test you’ve taken,” she said. 

McDaniel said teachers and administrators implemented these changes to resolve issues that arose during this school year’s first semester. 

“We saw teachers engage in a lot of projects and in a lot of presentations and a lot of things that required students us to work together, but we didn’t give (students) the time to do that,” she said. “So what we’re going to do is create an end-of-the-year schedule with three half-days at the very end that will allow you collaboration time with one another and time to meet your teachers if you need it.”

Nancy Spencer, business and family and consumer sciences chairperson, who had involvement in the planning and developing of the A.C.E schedule changes, said she agreed with McDaniel.

“(Last semester), a lot of teachers and students needed time to go see a teacher to make sure that all their work is turned in or if they’re redoing a paper or redoing something that they had time to talk to the teacher,” she said. “So we left for winter break and came back in January then started a new semester and everyone was kind of still trying to catch up from December.”

Not all students see merit to the updated schedule. For senior Claire Qu, the changes by the A.C.E schedule are not major and seem unnecessary. She said she feels as though teachers make sure schoolwork gets finished on time. 

“I can see how it would be beneficial, but I still don’t think (unfinished work at the end of semesters) was a huge problem at least in my classes during these past few years,” she said. “We usually wouldn’t leave assignments unfinished or run out of time. Normally the teacher would pace it so that it would be fine and we would finish everything before break.”

Spencer said that while the change may not be permanent, she said she feels it provides the best experience for students. 

“I think (the A.C.E schedule is) unique. I think it’s different and I think it just serves CHS,” she said. “I just think it’s a great way to end this semester, so we’re all anticipating this is going to be successful, which means that it should move forward.”