At my school our last week is composed of: Monday- we have a two-hour graduation ceremony, then we continue our day as if it was a two-hour delay. Tuesday- we have our fifth and sixth block classes first, then our first and second block classes. Wednesday- we have our first and second blocks, then our seventh and eight block classes. Thursday- we have our seventh and eight block classes, then our third and fourth blocks. Friday- we have our third and fourth block classes, then an open campus lunch followed by lots of games and activities. I understand their reasoning for this schedule but I am not a fan of "finals" tests we take that cover all information throughout the whole year. Our county got rid of having finals and midterms, but our school has found a loophole around that rule, the teachers just give big tests covering our whole year.
Finals may have a good concept, but like many other things, it doesn't work like it would on paper. The students take in information from one ear out the other just in time for most tests and have forgotten most by the end of the year. This last week is also known as "cram week" for obvious reasons, students pull all-nighters going over all their notes through an overflowing three-inch binder, just in time for the final. In all these tests don't do any good for the students, unless being sleep deprived is a good trait to have.
I believe that finals week should be replaced, and have a week for the students to be taught any real world skills they haven't been taught yet, so they can get a job for summer, or apply for any colleges they need to. This would be much more beneficial for the students, especially if the class already doesn't teach real world skills. Students could be given the chance to learn how to write a resume, apply for a job, apply for any colleges they would like to, and how to manage money. Too many students at my school have no clue how to apply for a job, and more have never filled out a resume in their life, doing this would allow their transition into the real world much easier and more financially stable.
Teaching real life skills in the classroom has always been important to me, and could make a much greater impact than any test or quiz. It is best to teach these skills throughout the year, but they should be at least be taught for the last week of school, so students remember it all for the time they need to, summer. Finals have always seemed like busy work for the last week of school so students don't just all skip, but if we can entice the students by teaching them such real skills, many more students will benefit and will be willing to learn.