End of Course testing began Monday at DeKalb County High School.
According to Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12, this test will count 25% of each student's final grade in each course. "I would like to encourage each student to get a good night's rest and be on time each day for the testing. These tests are important for the students because it's a part of their grade but also it counts into our final school system's report card, which is averaged with the spring EOC assessment scores. Its really important for everyone," said Cripps .
Directly after our EOC testing, the high school will be reviewing for their final exams, which will be taken right before winter break," said Cripps. These exams also count 25% of the student's final grade for that particular course," she said.
In December we will have our two week break. This our second one (break). We'll have an abbreviated school day on December 19. Students will return to school on January 3. However, our teachers will return on January 2 for a stock pile day which will be a work day for them," said Cripps.
"We'd like to thank our teachers for the hard work they put in everyday to ensure the best quality education for DeKalb County students," said Cripps
Meanwhile, to support students and teachers' readiness for our new PARCC assessment and to reflect the shifts in the new common core state standards for English-Language Arts, Cripps said the Tennessee Department of Education has made significant format changes to the TCAP Writing for the 2012-13 school year. That is in February.
"The Writing Assessment, which will continue to be given to fifth grade, which would be a narrative; in eighth grade, an explanatory; and in eleventh grade, an argumentative. Those will now be tested not just on one particular day, but they will have a week window of opportunity to do that. The two key changes that we have for that is a format change, which means the assessment will be text based, which means the students will be required to read a passage and then cite evidence from that text in their response. That's a lot different from just brain storming on a topic and writing what they feel or their position on something or a story," she said.
"To build readiness for PARCC on-line we will be testing eighth grade and eleventh grade's assessment for writing on-line," said Cripps. "The test will be expanded to sixty minutes to allow them time to read the text and to write to that source. The teachers and students have been participating in practice prompts to prepare for these changes. These changes help us with our common core standards and the new assessment that we will have in 2014-15," she said.
"We are also gearing up for our second constructive response test in February. That is in a series of three for all students in grades 3-8 math. This test has four questions. You may think that's not a lot for math. But these questions are very rigorous and they require the students to think through the problem with multiple steps and to follow the directions to the t," said Cripps
"The common core state standards in math present an opportunity to engage the Tennessee students really deeply in the problem solving and the mathematical thinking that build the fundamental adaptive math skills necessary for life after high school. Of course, we're thinking college and career ready when they leave our high school," she said.
"Finally, in March at the high school, our eleventh graders will take the ACT which shows the students how prepared they are for college. We've been doing a series of tests for these students during their educational journey. In eighth grade we took the explore tests, which is through the ACT and in tenth grade they take the plan test. In eleventh grade, all eleventh graders must now take the ACT," said Cripps.
"I'd like to encourage every student in eleventh grade, not to wait until March to start preparing and reviewing. I'd like to encourage you to start doing that now. Think back on your specific subject areas and start a review. Of course the high school will do some reviewing before the ACT but there are some things on line that you can do and I would encourage you to do that. Each student should start reviewing now. That will help you a lot to do well on that test," she said.
"Tennessee has been a state on the cutting edge of rigorous changes in education for the last few years. It's a challenge for our staff and our students to adapt to all these changes. But together we have continued to achieve and meet the challenges that come our way every day. We feel very blessed to work in DeKalb County. I would like to take this opportunity to say that we hope everyone has a restful break during winter break. We hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year," Cripps concluded.