Exam exemptions go paperless

by Lauryn Hughes | arts editor

Students will soon see a tile on their Skyward homepage for exam exemption request. Selecting this tile will allow them to see which classes they can select to exempt.

 “I don’t think the paperless piece to this is necessarily what is driving this. First of all, it’s 2019 right so it kind of allows us to move a little bit later when we open this window which allows for a more accurate grade,” assistant principal Sean Reno said.

Exam exemptions are now going to have to be accessed online from the NEISD Skyward portal.

“There is a big difference here, students obviously want to be exempt. I don’t see this as being a piece that necessarily means there are fewer exemptions, what we’re going to see here  is that students are going to have to start looking at their attendance early on and see what they actually qualify for. This is very early as we’re getting this information out, we will get some more information out here soon in regards as to how this happens,” Reno said.

If students have issues logging into their portal at home there are resources at school to ensure that exemptions are available to those who want them.

“We obviously have a library here on campus, we have the ability to set up a station here in our lunches that will be able to provide chrome books, but students should be accessing skyward. If there is an issue at home, maybe the service is down or if your laptop’s not working or your iPad’s not working. I mean we have phones, we have friends phones, we have iPads, we have chrome books here, so basically you should be able to login. This is where our information is, this is where our information is stored academically, this is where our disciplinary information is stored, this is where gain information about our academic career and so we should be able to access skyward,” Reno said.

Not everyone is supportive about this new system.

“I don’t like it because, before you could talk to your teachers and you had a better idea of what you had to do, or a teacher could help you get your grade up to being able to exempt, but now with the technology its less communication, and less knowing what you need to do,” senior Jamal Hampton said.

While the new system cuts out some of the communication between students and teachers, it allows for a quicker and more accurate way to file exemptions.

“I have to admit it’s easier, because the kiddos don’t have to go down to pick up the paperwork and go through the process of going to each and every teacher they want to do an exemption for. Since its online they get to do it at any point in time, it doesn’t have to be during class. It’s probably easier for the teachers too because what we had to do was we have to go through the process of [finding out] what kind of absences they have. I guess it’s a benefit, if there’s anything that isn’t as beneficial is that it takes that control away, its makes it more objective,” math teacher Brenda Perez said.

If a student is not eligible for an exemption they are unable to select that class.

“Students that are not eligible for exemptions will not even be able to click on it at that point. So you’re only allowed to select the classes that you’re eligible for,” Reno said.

Overall this new system is another step towards a more paperless and technologically advanced school.

I think that this will start to create a culture of the importance of a- logging in b- knowing where you stand academically and from the attendance standpoint [because] that will drive whether you’re eligible for an emption,” Reno said.

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