Dear McCallum Students and Families,

As we are nearing the end of the semester, I wanted to give you an idea of what finals will look like this fall. I know that, for some, this will be your first experience with high school finals. The information below will help you understand finals in a general sense and then offer details about how we are tackling finals for this extraordinary semester.

Here’s the nitty gritty on Final Exams:

In Austin ISD, finals account for ¼ of a student’s semester average. Keep in mind that, in the end, all that really matters is the final semester grade. The fall semester average and the spring semester average are the only reported grades that appear on a high school transcript. Did you bomb one of the 6-weeks? Although it might negatively impact your semester average, colleges will never see that particular grade because only the semester averages are transcripted. The semester grade is the average of the following four grades:

  • 1st 6-weeks grading period
  • 2nd 6-weeks grading period
  • 3rd 6-weeks grading period
  • Fall Final Exam

Finals Grades during 2020 (a little different than normal times):

We will be giving finals and they will be during the half-day finals week. All students will be expected to participate in finals. However, due to our current circumstances, we are making the following 2020 updates to alleviate the high stakes pressure that final exams can bring:

  • Students who are passing going into the final – average of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 6-weeks falls between a 70-100: If you are earning a passing grade going into the final exam, the final exam cannot take you to a failing grade for the semester. The lowest semester average you could get is a 70. I know most of you would not be satisfied with a low C for a semester grade, so you will want to take finals seriously.
  • Students who are failing going into the final – average of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 6-weeks falls between a 0-69: If you have a failing semester grade going into the final exam, the final cannot make you fail further for your semester grade. I know you want to bring that semester average up to a passing grade, so you will want to take finals seriously.

Finals Week Schedule:
We will follow the finals week schedule we normally run. For 9th graders or students new to Austin ISD, that means we have half days during finals week. This allows you more time to study throughout the week. Here is our schedule for finals week:

  • Tuesday, December 15
    9:00 – 11:00 – 5th Period Final
    11:10 – 1:10 – 6th Period Final
  • Wednesday, December 16
    9:00 – 11:00 – 1st Period Final
    11:10 – 1:10 – 2nd Period Final
  • Thursday, December 17
    9:00 – 11:00 – 7th Period Final
    11:10 – 1:10 – 8th Period Final
  • Friday, December 18
    9:00 – 11:00 – 3rd Period Final
    11:10 – 1:10 – 4th Period Final

You will be hearing from your teachers over the next couple of weeks about how finals will look in each of your classes. Let’s finish strong!

Go Knights!

Nicole Griffith
Interim Principal
McCallum High School

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