Courtesy of Katie Bendix
Changes Made to Testing Schedule
April 5, 2018
Unlike in years past, all students must report to first period immediately in the morning when SDA conducts standardized testing during the weeks of April 16 and April 23. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) for Math and English will be administered to juniors over four days, and the California Science Test (CAST) will be administered to seniors over two days. (See schedule below.)
The testing will occur after first period. Last year, the testing occurred before first period. Activities were scheduled for students that didn’t have testing, but students weren’t required to report to class until after testing was over.
This year, grades that don’t have testing will still have activities during the allotted time, said Assistant Principal Katie Bendix, but these activities will occur later in the morning, between first and second period.
“The feedback that we received from previous years was that the students who were not testing weren’t coming to school for our planned activities during that time, and those who did attend did not enjoy testing first thing in the morning,” Bendix said.
Activities are planned for each grade such as senior events as well as public speakers.
“Senior activities during days that they will not be testing include senior tiles and speeches pertaining to the senior class specifically. Seniors may also take part in activities scheduled for other grades if they prefer to,” said Bendix.
In light of the recent events regarding gun violence, this year’s speakers will address subjects such as campus safety and community bonding.
“For underclassman, we have speakers such as a representative from the Sandy Hook Promise organization, who will present one of their three lessons. The first one we have chosen is called ‘Start with Hello’. This lesson stresses the importance of an inclusive community and building a tight knit bond with other students,” said Bendix.
According to the Sandy Hook Promise website, this organization “trains students and adults to know the signs of gun violence” and “supports solutions that create safer and healthier schools.”
“The second lesson we chose deals with the subject of ‘see something say something,’ which explains to the students how they should respond to certain situations and how they can report it if they see something dangerous taking place,” she continued.
The staff has also created an incentive for upperclassmen to participate in all scheduled activities as well as their required testing.
“Any juniors or seniors that are on the LOP list can earn hours towards getting off the list for attending all of their scheduled tests and activities. We have prom coming up, and we want them to have the opportunity to earn their way off the LOP list and take part in it,” said Bendix.
Along with the benefits of participating in the standardized testing, there will be consequences for students who choose to skip class.
“Students who choose not to attend the actual testing days will be pulled out of class and required to take make up tests upon their return,” said Bendix.
Below is the bell schedule for testing days.
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