VERONA, NJ – The Verona Board of Education voted to eliminate final exams at Verona High School at its meeting Tuesday night. The school stopped administering midterm exams last year and will discontinue final exams this year.
According to Superintendent Rui Dionisio the decision to eliminate final exams follows the same line of thinking as the decision to eliminate mid-terms – to gain back instructional time. Dionisio noted that midterms were administered over a four to five day period, plus a day for make ups not to mention the days lost in preparing for the tests during which time there was no instruction. The Board felt it was better to gain back that teaching time and instead focus on high quality unit assessments, he said, which provide students with quick feedback.
When looking at final exams, Dionisio said they applied the same logic and also took under consideration the number of students who actually sit for final exams given there are numerous ways to earn exemption from finals, for instance AP students are exempt, there are no finals for elective classes and seniors who earn an A in a class are exempt.
“Essentially we started to take a look at this and realize that it’s really not a large number of students that are sitting for exams anyway, but we are not providing instruction on those days because of exams,” Dionisio said. “Wouldn’t’ it be better to take that time back, utilize it for additional instruction and then continue to work on improving out unit assessments in order to give students feedback and drive high quality instruction.”