The Superintendent of Border Land School Division (BLSD) says they were all surprised to hear the Manitoba Government postpone the grade 12 provincial exam.

The Province announced the change on Friday, May 24th, three days before the assessment was to be written the following Monday. 

"It was not something we were expecting late in the day on Friday," said Krista Curry. "So, we tried to get the word out as quickly as we could to our schools. It was just before their dismissal time and so, schools were able to communicate right away, and kids and teachers could set that aside for the weekend."

To ensure a final exam happens before June 21st, the Province has said assessments will now be administered at the school division level.

According to Curry, teachers have the option of developing their own assessment, or using materials from previous provincial exams. Border Land isn't taking a divisional approach the final, and grade 12s at each school will write a different exam put together by their teachers. 

"We have given our schools information that we want to be consistent," said Curry. "We want kids to have a consistent experience across our division, but the exam doesn't have to be the exact same exam. But we want it to mirror what the kids from first semester would have experienced that did write the provincial exam."

As a result, the revised assessment will follow a similar format and run over the course of a few days, just like a provincial exam.

We asked Curry if this short notice had teachers scrambling.

"I would say we have a mix. We have some schools that have teachers who have taught ELA for many years and have been in the system and so, it's a rather quick and abrupt turn but have lots of experience to pull on to prepare themselves. They were already preparing students for the provincials, so that doesn't really change. And then we have some newer teachers that it would be a more stressful experience, but we're there to support them."

The students' test scores will still be marked in the provincial exam spot on their report cards, as directed by the Province, and will be worth the same 20 per cent of their final grade in that class.