Triad Middle School officials are determined to prepare their students for standardized tests.
After hearing board members ask about it at previous meetings, Triad Middle School Interim Principal Doug Lowry gave the school board an update Thursday night on how his building is preparing students for state testing.
Lowry called state tests a “grade card to the community.”
“I’m a principal who believes that state testing isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Lowry said. “I believe that it is important for us to demonstrate what we’re doing with kids.”
The middle school is set to put in place a standardized test prep program this year. As of today, there are 54 days until students sit down for state tests.
Test Coordinator Melissa Scoville said teachers began giving students weekly online test practice the week after Thanksgiving. These practice tests include science questions, reading and answering comprehension questions. The questions mimic the format students will see on the state test.
Lowry is going into math classes to “get students excited about after-school and Saturday sessions” the school will offer.
Some sessions will focus on math and language arts, while others will be more general.
There will also be a pep rally in the coming months that will focus on testing to get students excited.
Lowry said he’s looking for all students to attend the after-school and Saturday sessions. There will be rewards for students who attend them. For example, Lowry said students who attend three Saturday sessions can get a day trip to the Columbus Zoo. For students who have other commitments on Saturday, two after-school sessions are worth one Saturday session.
“We just want them to get here,” Lowry said.
Scoville said there has also been a change to the school’s testing schedule. Previously, tests would go throughout the day. Now, students will only take their state tests in the morning.
Students will come in on test day and be offered a warm breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
“They’re all going to be down in the cafeteria,” Scoville said. “That way they all get that socializing opportunity.”
Teachers can also use that time to get their students excited. The change will also keep students from worrying about testing for the rest of the day.
“They have that time in the morning to focus,” Scoville said.
In other board news:
-Later in the meeting, Lowry was hired as Triad Middle School’s permanent principal on a two-year contract.
-The board held an organizational meeting earlier in the night, where Chris Millice and Randy Moore were elected board president and vice president, respectively.
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