Your questions answered

Questions asked by students, and answered by MHS administration

As students approach the end of the semester, they face finals and the start of winter sports. The following questions were asked by students, and the answers were provided by Mr. Robert Snyder, assistant principal, Mrs. Olympia Tienstra, secretary of athletics, Mrs. Lisa Wilson, attendance secretary and Mr. Kurt Popovich, Senior Systems Manager.

Finals Questions:

Madi Green
  • Will we have finals? If so, why are finals a thing this year if it can’t be guaranteed that eLearners (or possibly all of us) won’t cheat with their phones?

MHS will still have final exams.  This year has seen a number of modifications with the block schedule and our recent transition to eLearning during the Thanksgiving holiday, but this is still a semester school, and final exams are part of the school year.  Teachers have the flexibility to adjust finals so that they encompass what was covered in the first semester of this year.  Students are expected to approach final exams studiously.  Students should always refrain from cheating or plagiarizing work.  Cheating on an assignment or assessment results in earning a zero for that assignment.  Finals can be timed and randomized to prevent cheating.  Students who cheat on their finals run the risk of failing them.  Students should confer with their teachers about the format and requirements of finals. 

  • Do we have to go into the school to take them?

Students will have at-home and in-person options for finals.

  • What school-wide guidelines or rules will there be about finals?

Finals cannot be taken early.  They have to be completed on the designated days.

Madi Green
  • Will everyone be allowed to use notes and help sheets, or does it depend on the teacher?

Teachers will issue guidance about whether or not notes or help sheets are permitted.  Students need to check with their teachers and then adhere to those stipulations.

  • Are they going to be more pass-fail situations? How are finals going to be scored and weighted given our current changing circumstances?

Students would need to talk to their individual teachers regarding this.  They can tell you how finals will weigh into your semester one grade.

  • What type of security measures are going to be in place?

Finals can be timed and/or randomized.  Teachers can also use GoGuardian.  If it is suspected that a student submitted inauthentic work, that situation will be investigated.  It could result in a zero for the final exam. 


Extracurricular Questions:

Madi Green
  • What will IHSAA and sports teams do if we shut down as a state?

If the state were to shut down we would follow whatever guidelines the County and IHSAA propose.  Our number one priority in the Athletic Office is the safety and wellbeing of our athletes and coaches.  If everyone follows the guidelines set in place now we hope to have a successful winter season.  We ask everyone to follow us on Instagram or Twitter @munster_sports for any last minute changes, cancelations and updates about our sporting events and teams.  Communication is key.

  • Even though extracurriculars are still in-person right now, will they be able to stay that way?

The goal is to allow people to meet if they are comfortable doing so.  If students experience COVID-like symptoms, then we want them to remain home and participate virtually if they can.

  • Is there a set limit of infections that would suspend or cancel these activities? If so, what is it?

It’s hard to say that there is a hard and fast number.  There are a number of factors that can contribute to this.  Our coaches and sponsors need to remain healthy, and student participants need to remain healthy as well.  The district is in constant communication with the Lake County Health Department, and it would likely weigh in if it felt that MHS needed to close.  As much as we try to manage and mitigate the effects of COVID for Munster students, we know that other districts are battling COVID as well.  We have to be ready for some cancellations throughout the winter due to quarantines. 

  • Even with little to no meetings, will my participation in the club still count for freshmen and sophomores looking to make graduation requirements?

Freshmen and sophomores students are on the Graduation Pathways requirements.  Juniors and seniors can opt into this if they have not passed ISTEP.  Club participation is based on a points system.  Each club has a point allotment based on their time commitments.  If your club was active during this semester, then you will be awarded the points that you’ve earned.  If you are part of a club that meets less frequently, then you might need to use participation from multiple clubs to reach your total of 8 points.  If you are part of a sport, that is worth 8 points for the year.  Some clubs meet this requirement as well because of their time commitments.  If you are part of something that has a lower point threshold, then you need to participate in consecutive years.  You might also need more than one club to reach your total. 


Attendance Questions: 

Madi Green
  • Will I be counted as absent if I have computer problems, or have issues around the house that I have to tend to? 

Yes, you will be unexcused and truant if you miss more than 5 minutes of class. Always email your teacher when you have technology problems so they know why you are logged off/not interacting in class to prevent them from marking you unexcused, but it’s ultimately the teacher’s decision. Or, have your parent call attendance to excuse you.  Unexcused absences not excused by a parent or guardian, will result and lead up to a Saturday detention,  an in school suspension (ISS) or an out of school suspension (OSS).  Subsequent offenses may result in suspension or recommendation for expulsion.

  • How long do you have before you can be marked tardy online?

Five Minutes or less.

  • How many days are we allowed to miss?

Students are allowed seven excused absences per semester.

  • How many tardies can a student get until you get a consequence? What punishments could the school actually give?

Madi Green

Technology Issue Questions: 

Madi Green

  • Who do I contact for technology issues? 

In-person learners can stop by the Media Center if they need tech assistance. At-home students should email [email protected]. Please attach screenshots and/or pictures of error messages to the email. They’re super helpful. Another option is calling the Support Hotline at (219) 836-7157. If the Technology Department cannot assist you remotely, you will be directed to the Media Center. The Media Center can issue a loaner device to you while your laptop gets repaired.

  • How often are we supposed to restart laptops, and how do we know when we’ve received the updates we were supposed to? 

At least twice a month, students must bring their laptops to the south parking lot of MHS and restart their devices. This is important for maintenance purposes. At home, your laptop will not receive important Microsoft and STM updates that are pushed out to devices. Reconnecting to the school network every so often is good for your laptop.

  • Where is a safe place to store files?

OneDrive is a safe place to store files. Students must log in with their student email. 

  • I’ve heard (unsubstantiated) rumors that teachers using GoGuardian can access and browse your computer’s whole filesystem, as well as activate your camera remotely. I suspect both to be false, but I would like some assurance.

No, GoGuardian cannot access the whole file system.  It is only a classroom management tool. As far as the webcam is concerned, there is a collaboration feature within GoGuardian similar to Collaborate and Teams, but the student has to initiate turning on the webcam in order to chat with the teacher. 

  • Will GoGuardian ever be uninstalled?

At this time there are no plans to uninstall GoGuardian.