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District 86 Administering "No Harm" Final Exams for First Semester

During the board of education meeting on Nov. 18, we announced that we will be administering "no harm" final exams for first semester. We also announced that attendance for these exams will be optional.

Below is additional information about this decision, as well as the schedule for final exams and protocols for attendance. 

General Information about Final Exams 

  • "No harm" means that the score a student receives on a final exam score cannot lower their grade for first semester - i.e., if they have an A going into the final, that is the grade they will receive regardless of how they do on the test.

  • The schedule for final exams will not change. The exams will be administered Jan. 12-14. All courses will have a final exam period during these three days.

  • Attendance for final exams is optional. Students do not have to take final exams, but can if doing so might improve their grade or offer them experience taking a test in a particular subject area.

  • Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South will be open for all students on each exam day regardless of whether they are taking a final. On these days, students can access support services, receive pre-arranged academic assistance, and/or work to remediate Missing and Essential (ME) assessments.

  • All gradebooks should be updated by Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. so that they reflect each student’s most current semester grade. Students can then use this information to determine if they are going to take a particular final exam.

  • Students who have an ME in the gradebook will not have the option of taking the final exam for that class. For those students, the final exam period should be used to complete any ME assessments.

  • By the end of the day on Jan. 10, teachers shall confirm that all of their students have used the Google form they provided to indicate whether they plan to take the final exam for their course. 

  • Students and parents/guardians will be able to see semester grades by the end of the day on Jan. 25. 

  • Students who have an ME grade for a course following the administration of the final exam will be issued an Incomplete (IC). Those students must work with their teacher to create a Missing and Essential Plan by Feb. 7. If a plan has not been created by that date, the IC will convert to a failing (F) grade.

Final Exam Schedule



Attendance Protocols

  • Parents/guardians and students are asked to please discuss/determine the plan for each of the student's final exams. 

  • On Jan. 10, all classroom teachers, including physical education and resource for EL or special education, will assign students the task of completing the final exam Google form for their course. Parents/guardians of students who are in our special education Foundations courses will receive a separate communication about this process from their child's teacher.

  • Students will submit the final exam Google form for each of their courses during class on Jan. 10. Any student who is absent from school on Jan. 10 will be asked to complete this process before final exams begin on Jan. 12.

  • Teachers will use the responses they receive on the Google forms to take attendance on final exam days. Options include:
    • OPT-OUT = Excused Absence
    • OPT-IN = Present in Class
    • Completing ME Assessments during the Final Exam Period = Present in Class

  • Students who have a study hall are not expected to be in attendance for that period.

  • We will only be taking attendance for students who are present in the building.