There are only a few more days of school until the end of the first semester.
This week was the first of two weeks of final exams for my Noblesville High School freshman.
The school year has been overwhelming, with homework, meeting deadlines and staying organized. It’s been a tough semester, figuring everything out.
Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) pandemic, school hasn’t felt like school since last March.
At NHS, half of the students, alphabetically, attend in-person school on Monday and Tuesday, while the other half of the students, alphabetically, attend virtual school those days with Zoom video conferencing. Then, on Thursday and Friday, the students who attend in-person school are in virtual school and vice versa. So, a lot of students are missing seeing their friends because only half of the students are at school at one time.
Then every Wednesday is an eLearning day, during which teachers assign work to students who work from home and are not required to be in a virtual class at a certain time and are able to complete their work at their own pace. The eLearning time also allows time for students to complete other homework assignments.
Final exams are spread out over these last two weeks of school before holiday break. Students who attend in-person school on Mondays and Tuesdays have one or two finals each of those days then can use the rest of the week to study, with the remaining finals on the following Monday and Tuesday. Those who have in-person school on Thursdays and Fridays take their finals on those days. These extra days allow more time to study for finals. Also, this school year, we have found that some of the teachers allow students to turn in missing assignments, with little or no penalties, through the end of the grading period.
NHS Principal Craig McCaffrey, who regularly sends out a video update with lots of useful information, feels good about the progress made this school year during the pandemic. “First of all, we want to thank everyone for a great semester. It has been challenging but we all feel fortunate to still be in school at the end of November,” he said in his most recent video update for school families.
He shared news about the second semester, during which any NHS student will be offered the opportunity to be 100 percent synchronous with Noblesville teachers. That means that students can choose to be in virtual classes every day, but they must be present as they would for a normal school day. The all-online offering using the Edmentum learning program, which was offered first semester, will also be offered second semester but only for those already in the program.
In other NHS news, the 2021 NHS graduation is scheduled for June 8, 2021, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, and an NHS Prom is still on the radar with hope to be able to hold some type of event this school year. The NHS Choirs performed a virtual concert on Friday night, with DVDs available for purchase through On the Spot professional video-recording company.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.