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2020-21 Diploma Exams suspended and Grade 12 students can choose to opt out of exams this fall

November 30, 2020

Original Article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/provincial-diploma-exams-edmonton-public-schools-adriana-lagrange-1.5760618

Students facing diploma exams in October and November can choose not to write them.

"I have made the decision to allow students and their parents to choose if they write diploma exams in October/November," Education Minister Adriana LaGrange tweeted on Tuesday. 

"I will continue monitoring the situation and will make decisions on future iterations of the diploma exams as we approach their administrations," LaGrange said.

Some students may not feel comfortable or be in the best position to write exams at this time, she said. 

However, if a student does choose to write the exam, it will still be worth 30 per cent of their final grade.

"We know these are challenging times and that's why we want to ensure students and their parents have the flexibility to make the best decision for their own situation this exam season," LeGrange's press secretary Colin Aitchison said In a written statement. 

Diploma exams are used to assess a student's achievement level in core Grade 12 courses and ensure province-wide achievement standards, a government website says.

The standardized tests, usually offered five times a year, were cancelled in March after the pandemic was declared. 

At a meeting last week, the Edmonton Public School Board agreed unanimously to suspend diploma exams for high school students in the 2020-21 academic year. 

Board trustees said requiring students to take the provincially-administered tests would add pressure to an already stressful learning environment during the pandemic.

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