The Final Quarter of an Odd Year

As the 2020-21 school year comes to an end, it has been no secret that this year has been extremely different compared to others. This year was the first year in which school started online—rather than in-person. 

One major change was in the way grades and assessments were handled. At the onset of the pandemic, during the spring of 2020, the final quarter was pass/fail, meaning as long as you turned in work and completed it to some degree, you would likely pass. This year’s final quarter, however, actual grades will be reported. Unlike other years, these grades are a combination of the entire year’s assignments and tests, instead of solely the final quarter. 

Another difference between the current school year and the last is the assessments and standardized testing. PSSA, SAT, ACT, and AP tests were all scheduled to happen this year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the PSSA testing windows for the 2020-2021 school year are April 19 to September 30th for English Language Arts (ELA).

As for mathematics, science, and make-ups, they will be available between April 26th and September 30th. As for SAT and ACT scores, most colleges altered their requirements to make scores optional for the class of 2021, alleviating the stress of testing for many seniors. Further, some schools canceled the score requirements for the class of 2022.

Additionally, IB tests were canceled. Instead, they were replaced by a compilation of internal assessments and predicted grades.

For AP students, testing occurred during three different windows, with both in-person and at-home options for students. Harriton operated during Administration period 2, taking place from May 18-28. 

Although this year and the previous one have been rather gloomy and uneventful in relation to social functions, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The class of 2021 was able to hold their senior prom and put on the annual production of Dr. Harriton, giving students and staff a sense of tradition and normalcy to conclude the year.

As the year winds down, seniors await their official graduation ceremony on June 9th, while the rest of the student body and staff prepare to finish out the year in the best way possible.