Midterms returns to normal, first time in 3 years


Graphic by Matthew Stashower’25.

E1 and E2, which are midterms and finals respectively, will account for 20% of a student’s final grade.

The last time Staples had a normal midterm week was in January 2020, before the pandemic drastically changed the routine of high schoolers across the world. Since then, midterm exams have been either canceled or modified due to not wanting to add extra anxiety to students during a troubling period. Well, for all students, that stress is back on. Weight of the midterms and finals are going back to normal, and will combine for 20% of a student’s final grade. 

Last year’s COVID-19 omicron variant took a toll on students, causing many to be out sick. This allowed the administration to lower the weight of the exams, as well as create more makeup time for students who were out. This year, Staples administration is ready to set tests back to their original weight.

“[Midterms] encompass a great deal of importance, in terms of the topics covered,”  Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr. said. “If that’s how you have to demonstrate it, I think [10%] would be more than fair in terms of percentage.” 

[Midterms] encompass a great deal of importance, in terms of the topics covered. If that’s how you have to demonstrate it, I think [10%] would be more than fair in terms of percentage.

— Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr.

One thing that won’t be changed dramatically will be the midterm schedule. In 2020, Thomas’s first year as principal, the school implemented a new exam schedule that made the tests spaced out, as well as days dedicated to review. The administration went on with this schedule last year with some adjustments. Thomas thinks this schedule ultimately helped last year with the amount of kids absent and hopes for this year’s schedule to continue to help balance out the exams.

 “Some classes have sit-down in-class exams, some have projects, so we wanted to make sure we were balancing that and giving enough time for review and to get the grades and everything in,” Thomas said.

Another change this year will be that all world language classes will have a midterm and final exam. Previously, only certain classes would have sit-down exams, while other classes would have a project. 

“If I had my own school of Greek and Latin, I might choose another form of assessment that wasn’t a midterm exam but rather more of a series of ongoing assessments,” Latin teacher Perry Tavenner said. “But the world language department is committed to helping all Staples’ world language students measure true progress, and a midterm is what the department has chosen this year.” 

Midterms will take place this year from Jan. 10-19. Thomas suggests that students get started early. 

“The worst thing is if you have two tests and you start studying the day before. That’s going to stress you out and you’ll get tired,” Thomas said. “You should find out what’s going on in an exam or a project, and spread it out in terms of when I need to get this done.”