Absences and Final Exams: All of the Questions Answered


Jeniah Terry

The notebook of somebody studying hard for their finals. However, they may not have to — check out our guide for how to exempt final exams.

The end of the year is right around the corner; however, there is one square left to mark off on the checklist: finals. As this stressful week approaches, it’s important to recognize the resources out there to help prepare for or, if lucky enough, exempt finals.
But what exactly are exemptions? How do they work? What absences do and do not count towards them? It’s a difficult process to understand, yet with the help of Mrs. Lauran Knight, Champion’s academic dean, the ‘need-to-knows’ are simple.


One of the main questions that arise about exemptions is: why are exceptions an option?
“Exemptions exist to improve compulsory attendance. Or, in other words, to prove an incentive,” said Mrs. Knight. “Students benefit by not having to cram for multiple exams within a short period.”
Students across Champion plan to exempt a number of their classes. From Algebra 2 to food science, students plan to exempt so they can relax and wind down at the end of the year.
“Exemptions matter a great deal. They’re important to me so my grades don’t drop and so I don’t stress about having to take any final exams,” said sophomore Haeley Alvarez.


What are the requirements for exemption?
The grading guidelines, which can be found on the Boerne ISD website, state that a student in grades 9 through 11 may exempt up to four non-AP courses if they maintain a minimum grade of 90 for the semester and have no more than three absences in that class.
For seniors, the criteria is a bit different. Seniors are allowed to exempt an unlimited number of non-AP classes as long as they follow the aforementioned guidelines.


How about AP classes or dual credit courses?
For AP classes, a student must take the AP exam (or have above a 90 if they elect not to take it; it just counts as one of the four non-AP exemptions) and have no more than three absences to be exempted from their final exam.
Despite the AP criteria for exemptions, some students at Champion wish one thing was different.
“I feel like if you are put into the class and take the AP test, you shouldn’t take the final,” said senior Gabriella Clayton in regards to the absence requirement.
On the opposite end from AP tests, those who are enrolled in dual credit classes are required to take the final exam, as it is a part of the required college syllabus standards.


What absences count against me?
Absences associated with religious holy days, documented health-care appointments in which the student returns to school on the same day, required court appearances, activities related to a student obtaining U.S. citizenship, service as an election clerk, and school-related absences are not added toward absences for exemptions.
As a student evaluates their absences through Skyward, they are able to look at the second semester (started January 2022). Here, absences labeled with a “X”, “U”, “I”, or “E” will count as absences when it comes to finals exemptions.


What do I have to do to be officially exempt? Are there forms to fill out?
Exemption forms are available to the student body starting May 16 in the counseling and administrative offices. Students have to make sure that they have both a parent/guardian and teacher signature on the form. Once the forms are complete, the only thing a student must do is show their teacher the form as proof that they can exempt that final. The form does not need to be turned in to the office.


While finals week and figuring out what classes one is able exempt can be a stressful time for students across Champion, it’s important to push through and finish the school year strong.
“I think [exemptions] push kids to strive for a goal at the end of the year,” said Clayton. “Students put in less work at the end of the year if they start investing in their work at the beginning.”