Is Cartersville High School’s Exemption Policy Fair to Students?


Emily Nolasco, Writer

Cartersville High school in recent years has changed its exam exemption policies due to covid-19. Before, the qualifications for whether a student was exempt or not from exams were that if they had 1 absence, they would have to have an 85 or higher in the class, if they had 2 absences the student would have to have a 90 or higher, and if they had 3 absences, they would have to have a 95 or higher in the class to qualify for exemption. If the student had more than 3 absences excused or not in a class, they could no longer qualify for exemption for that class.

Before, it didn’t really matter whether an absence was excused or not, they both would affect the student’s chances of exemption. This new policy states that for a student to qualify for exemption they need to have no unexcused absences and have an 87 or higher in their classes. This change was made because of the sudden Covid-19 pandemic that hit in March of 2020.

Personally, I believe that this exemption policy in some ways is better than the policy the school had before, but still has some flaws that affect students. Firstly, in regard to the absences, I think that it should’ve always been that excused absences don’t affect students’ chances of exemption. Sometimes emergencies happen and students just cannot make it to school whether that’s due to illness or family emergencies, and I don’t think that should keep them from being exempt, especially if they are able to keep their grades up. So, I do think that the new exemption policy is more improved in that area compared to how it was before.

However, I do believe that the minimum grade a student should have to exempt their class should have stayed at 85. Some students are taking more challenging courses like AP or honors classes, and it’s harder for them to earn an 87 or higher. I think it’s also important for the school to understand that students learn in different ways and at different speeds. So, for some students having a B average might be them doing really well in school. This new policy makes it seem as if having a B average was not good when in reality students with grades around an 80 are still doing relatively well.

So, is this new exemption policy fair to students? I think when it comes to absences this policy is a lot more comprehensive about the fact that emergencies happen, and excused absences should be…. well, excused. However, in my personal opinion, this new policy is flawed when it comes to the minimum grade students should have in their classes in order to be exempt. I believe that there is still room for improvement and the administrators just need to find out what works best for the school environment and the learning needs of the students.