CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The day before midterm examinations begin for Charleston County students, the principal of West Ashley High School is apologizing for not telling parents and students about the district's recently modified exam policy.
On Friday, parents say they received a troubling call from principal, Lee Runyon.
Parents tell Live 5 News it was their and their children's understanding that any student with a 93 average or higher and no unexcused absences was exempt from a final exam. Runyon says that was the policy the year before, however, the Charleston County School District says it implemented a pilot program--only for seniors--at the beginning of this school year. District officials say all high school principals were notified and told to let the staff know. Runyon admits he did not communicate the information to parents and students.
The program exempts seniors with an overall average of 85 or higher. In a statement released the following statement on Monday:
"Students in Grades 9-12 take cumulative, standards-based, end-of-course examinations. When applicable, schools administer State End-of-Course tests required by the S.C. Educational Accountability Act. No student may exempt a State End-of–Course Exam...Seniors are exempt from a course final exam if they have an overall average of 85 or higher. Seniors who have at least an 85 average may opt to take a final exam in that course to improve their grade. For these students, their final grade may be raised, but not lowered, by their final exam grade. Those seniors who do not have an overall average of 85 or higher will take exams as scheduled. Students in grades 9-11 will take exams as scheduled."
Runyon says cumulative exams are important to better prepare students for college. He says given the miscommunication, underclassmen who thought they were exempt will take their exams, but the grade will only be averaged in if it raises their final grade.
Exams begin on Tuesday.