On Nov. 24, 2020, the Alberta government announced that diploma exams would be optional for the rest of the school year. The decision to write diploma exams resides with students and their families. Students will receive an exemption if they choose not to write an exam, however, if an exam is written it will continue to be worth 30 per cent of their final mark.

All students currently taking a diploma course, or planning to take a diploma course in the second semester are exempted from writing the diploma exam. Students must still complete all of the required course work and assignments and will receive a school-awarded mark.

Students who wrote one part of the English Language Arts, French Language Arts or Social Studies exams during the November 2020 diploma examination sitting, must write the other part in order to receive an official mark for the course.

Retroactive exemptions will not be provided to students who wrote diploma exams in previous school years.

Students may choose to write diploma exams in any of the January, April, June or August 2021 administrations if they:

  • have a school-awarded mark; or
  • wish to rewrite a diploma exam. 

Students choosing to write must inform the assistant principal of their school, ideally before the winter break, so the school knows how many students will be writing exams. If students choose not to write diploma exams, no action is required.  There is no penalty if students change their mind and choose not to write.  However, if they do change their minds, they must inform the school before the start of the examination.

All students who choose to write diploma exams will do so at the school where they are registered. Students will be required to wear masks and follow all other health measures while in the school.

If you have any questions, please contact your school.


Exam Schedule

Opting into Diploma Exams: All students registered in diploma courses at Bowness should have been consulted by their teachers to express their interest in writing the diplomas. HUB students who are registered at Bowness, regardless of who their teacher is, were contacted directly by Bowness to ascertain whether they are writing or not. Bowness students should contact their teachers directly to express interest in writing. HUB students may contact the Bowness main office. Students may change their minds about whether to write or not right up until exam day.

Busing During Exams – AM and PM buses will run Jan. 11 – Jan. 22. Buses will run in the morning only (Jan. 25 – 27). There will be no buses on Jan 28.

Student Accommodations: If you believe you should have extra time or any other accommodation for an exam, please connect with your teacher and/or the teachers in The Success Centre before the end of November, EVEN IF you have had accommodations in the past.

As per Alberta Education examination policy and Bowness High School Exam Policy;

Absences for exams: A student may only defer tests or examinations for reasons of illness or emergencies such as death in the family. During the school year if a student is repeatedly absent on test days, he or she may be required to provide a doctor's certificate. A doctor's certificate is required for any missed final examination. While parents can excuse students from attendance for illness, parents cannot excuse them for a student's commitment to completing the basic requirements of Alberta Education.

Vacations and other personal reasons are not legitimate excuses for missing exams. Students missing final exams for personal reasons, such as vacation, may forfeit the opportunity for a final assessment and receive a grade of zero.

More information for students and parents can be found at Alberta Education: About Grade 12 Diploma Exams.

(https://education.alberta.ca/writing-diploma-exams/about-grade-12-diploma-exams/?searchMode=3)

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