To Test the Patience of a Saint: Cadets prepare for end-of-the-year and cope with the cancellation of finals

To Test the Patience of a Saint: Cadets prepare for end-of-the-year and cope with the cancellation of finals
By Charles Buchanan ‘23

On Wednesday, April 28, the Benedictine Schools of Richmond decided to cancel final exams for both Benedictine College Prep and Saint Gertrude High School. After much deliberation, the administration noted that given the current environment, administering final exams would not be practical.

"This academic year has been a unique year and unlike any other in education," wrote Amanda Esparza, the academic dean of the Benedictine Schools of Richmond. "Our students and teachers have proven their resilience and commitment to education through unprecedented times. Given our current environment and after careful thought and consideration, we have decided we will not administer final exams in May and June."

"This academic year has been a unique year and unlike any other in education," wrote Amanda Esparza, the academic dean of the Benedictine Schools of Richmond. "Our students and teachers have proven their resilience and commitment to education through unprecedented times. Given our current environment and after careful thought and consideration, we have decided we will not administer final exams in May and June."

In place of final exams, Cadets will carry out their day-to-day activities including formation, classes, squad drill and other various ceremonial military functions. "The previously scheduled exam days will become regular instructional days," wrote Esparza. "This change will allow teachers and students to do culminating activities to reinforce concepts or wrap-up their curriculum." In addition to this change, Benedictine seniors will be dismissed from school on May 25 and Benedictine underclassmen on June 2 for a well-earned break.

Recently, Cadets and faculty alike have pondered what the end of the year will bring. The administration's indecision in this regard has concerned the community. Many look forward to the school year's end and its contributions such as scholarship announcements, military awards and graduation, however, others despised final exams and felt ill-prepared. This indecision provoked various reactions among Cadets. "I think having exams would be a beneficial experience for most of the Cadets," said Cadet Clint Ellison. "As many of the current freshmen have not yet experienced high school exams, having the experience of a final exam would do most of us well for the next year."

Many students feel relieved, considering the rigors they experience during final exams. "This past quarter has been especially stressful, and I don't think I'm the only one who would say that," said Cadet Joseph Colizzi. "I believe that having no final exams provides a well-deserved break for Cadets and even teachers. I think we all want summer to come as peacefully as possible."

The school faced immense pressure, considering the effects of COVID-19 has had on students' ability to learn in a virtual environment where restrictions present certain limits. "As with everything else this year, flexibility is key," said Mike Forster, a long-time Benedictine educator. "I was prepared to go forward with finals, and I will be certain to keep my students engaged until they depart for the summer."

To Test the Patience of a Saint: Cadets prepare for end-of-the-year and cope with the cancellation of finals
To Test the Patience of a Saint: Cadets prepare for end-of-the-year and cope with the cancellation of finals

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