New proposed changes to Junior Cert reform plans would see the exam continue as is, in conjunction with two school-based assessments.
Secondary school managers have made the proposals in a bid to break the deadlock between teachers and the Department of Education over Junior Cycle reform.
The Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan says an agreement is closer than ever, but teachers' unions will hold another lunchtime protest next Thursday.
Ferdia Kelly of the JMB says their proposals are not just the status quo.
He said: "What the difference here is, is rather than the students just getting a grade as students get now - like an A, B, or C - there would be a conversation where teachers would engage with their students.
"It would be in terms of, how is learning going? What have we learned here? What more could we have learned? And what more can we learn?"