Etowah welcomes back EOCs

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As the school year winds down, the End of Course (EOC) exam season looms over Etowah students. With COVID-19 cutting the 2019-2020 school year short, it has been nearly two years since students have had standardized testing, leaving many panicked to face the coming weeks. 

The state encourages students not to worry, as several changes have been made to ease the pressures of standardized testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgia School Superintendent, Richard Woods, announced earlier this year that milestone tests will continue to count for 20% of a student’s overall grade if it benefits their grade, but will only have weight of 0.01% if it negatively affects their grade. 

“I’m happy about this change because that means I do not have to stress over the milestones. Instead, all of my energy can be focused on the classes that do matter, such as my AP ones,” Amy Dominguez, junior, said. 

One concern fully digital students have is that they must be on campus for exams. Several feel that this is unsafe, while others feel that it is safe to integrate students back onto the campus for EOCs. 

“I think adding students back on campus for EOCs will make the tests more fair for everyone, and will bring many [students] joy to see their friends who have been digital for the year. I believe it is safe, but to be safer, I feel masks should be required or at least heavily pushed. If this is not an option, I feel social distancing will help so much and make the school a safer testing environment,” Mary Zaski, sophomore, said. 

Etowah has implemented new rules to help testing run safely and smoothly. Testing rooms will be used at partial capacity in compliance with social distancing protocols, and the area will be sanitized during the breaks. 

“I think it is safe because we’re going to be spaced out, and we are put in different rooms for more space,” Kylie Gibbs, freshman, said. 

While many are disappointed with the idea of milestones taking place this year, the tests are expected to do more good than harm to grades.