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HWDSB cancels final exams, eases high school graduation requirements amid 'uncertainty'

March 04, 2021

Original Article:

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) has cancelled final exams and the province has eased graduation requirements for high school students this year "to reflect the realities of learning and attending school during the uncertainties of a pandemic."

In a message to families on Tuesday evening, the board's director of education, Manny Figueiredo, said the changes were made after listening to feedback from families, students and educators.

"Instead, student grades will be based on the specific learning activities and assignments throughout the semester and any final activities that demonstrate overall learning," he wrote.

"Teachers will use their professional judgment to decide on the appropriate activities that best allow students to demonstrate their learning, and scheduled exam days will be used to provide additional opportunities for students to complete assignments."'

In a phone interview on Wednesday morning, Figueiredo said he began receiving questions in October about final exams. He said the plan was to made the decision this month, and adds that a large factor into cancelling exams was a concern for student mental health.

"The mental health and anxiety some kids are experiencing around this uncertainty and learning in different modalities ... for some students, it was creating more anxiety for them."


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