The Finals Countdown

Will Fowler, Editor-in-Chief


After two years of discussion, finals have been moved up to be before winter break.

“I was one of the people that pushed for this,” said Principal Spence Evans. “I wanted to give students a chance to download, to be kids…over break, they didn’t have that time.”

“To have that ability to stop and have a two week break was just so inviting, and we didn’t want students stressing about finals over break.”

Evans said that concerns from students, parents and teachers contributed to the decision. The Calendar Committee, which controls when finals happen, was at first hesitant to make the change. Only about 50% of parents and teachers surveyed were initially in support of the new finals date, but that number increased by the time the Committee voted, according to Evans.

“We tried to get the word out about how it’s good for kids at the high school level to have that semester end, to have that closure,” said Evans. “It was at that point that Dr. Taylor brought the information to the school board, and the school board voted to start school a week earlier so we’d have time for the finals and break.”

Despite Ames’ decision to have finals before break, there is a potential that the state could make all schools start after Labor Day, pushing finals back to their original date.

“That would take it out of our hands,” said Evans. “I will always do what’s best for students and staff…but at this point I don’t see it changing back.”

One reason for the schedule change was making Ames High consistent with post-secondary education, according to Evans.

“It is our job to prepare kids. I think this is a good lesson, to teach students how to prepare, and how to stop [and relax]. We’re now aligned with what colleges are doing.”

Evans said it was difficult to know how the new schedule would affect scores given that this was the first time Ames High had finals before break.

“I like where we are,” said Evans. “I’m excited to see where we are after the break and how refreshed the students are.”