Teachers adjusting to end-of-semester assessment requirements


Tracy Tran

Coppell High School sophomores Will Manchester and Rylie Bonner work on theater project on Wednesday in the CHS theater room. With CHS no longer having semester exams, classes are finishing the grading period with other forms of summative assessments.

Camila Villarreal, Staff Writer

When the school year began, the Coppell ISD administration announced semester exams would be no more. 

This news was met with mixed responses from the Coppell High School student body and CISD staff. Some students were relieved that they would not have to cram for so many important tests all at once, while others complained that although the exams were technically gone, they still had to put in the same amount of work without the possibility of raising their average like they could have with semester exams, which were valued at one-fifth of their semester grade. 

Shriya Vanparia

“I personally saw semester exams as somewhat counterintuitive,” CHS physics teacher Melisa Macmillan said. “If you exempt all the kids who do their work, you’re left with the kids who don’t, and that can cause problems.”

Although the semester exams have been done away with, all teachers are still required to give students a summative assessment assignment, which, at CHS, is normally a test, project or presentation.

CHS Principal Laura Springer encourages teachers to explore creative options for these assessments since there are not rigid rules as to what the summatives must be. The fine arts department is using the required assessments to its advantage by wrapping up projects or assignments they have been doing throughout the week. 

However, many of the teacher teams for each subject have decided to simply give their students a typical test with more narrowed-down concepts than semester exams would have. 

“[The new exam system] definitely helps with lowering stress, but it opens a whole other can of worms because now you can’t become exempt, which is what everyone looks forward to,” CHS junior Xander Davila said. 

Most of the tests for students will take place next week, the last week before winter break begins, just as semester exams did a year prior.