Students majoring in project studies at Jefferson High School are scheduled to begin semester exams this year.
In previous years, when they opened at New Technology High School in the fall of 2010, they didn’t have to take them. The new technology was introduced to Jefferson at the beginning of the school year in August 2021. Now, students have to start taking exams that they didn’t take in previous years.
The announcement that the new technology would be introduced to Jefferson was made in mid-2019. At the time, chief Brian Maher said it would help the program to get admissions, which are declining slightly each year; would be a better place; and allows students to join activities that would otherwise have to be attended at their home presence center.
Read more:New staff, additional schools will help ease the burden on Sioux Falls consultants
The District Policy for Higher Education states that the end of semester grade is given to all upper grade students at the end of the course and calculates 15% of the student’s final course grade.
Dean Ann Conrad, a spokeswoman for the district, said the students passed the final exams of the course, but not the semester tests. Beginning in the fall of 2022, all students, including students in project-based training courses, will take semester exams in all courses that have semester tests.
It includes Spanish I & II, English I, II, & III, personal finance, algebra I, algebra II, geometry, geography, US history, world history, government, biology, chemistry, and physics.
Read more:Q&A: Jefferson Hay can adopt New Tech’s “project-based” model, says expert
Students were interviewed Jefferson High School Chroniclethe school’s student publication had different views on the need to take the exams, with some expressing concern about the benefits of semester exams and some expressing concern about how it would measure “success in the real world”.
The school and county assessment is “how we monitor and measure student learning,” Conrad said, noting that students learned about the changes last fall with the integration of new technologies into JHS.