ACT and Scheduling.

Good morning, Parents.

Tomorrow our juniors will be taking the ACT, and Wednesday they will be taking the WorkKeys assessment.  We are really excited to see how our students will do on the ACT, and the feel around school seems to indicate that many of your juniors feel the same way–they are eager to see how well they can do, and in many cases they want to see how much they can improve their scores in each area of the test.  I get the impression that because of the hard work of our teachers, students are increasingly understanding that the competencies and skills assessed on the ACT are of considerable value to each of them personally, regardless of their future career plans.  These are skills that will significantly support their future success in college, tech. school, or training programs.  They are also skills that are of considerable value in a wide variety of work settings.  The competencies assessed on the ACT are regularly taught and practiced in our classrooms, and many times our students clearly recognize the are improving on these skills, so their confidence is growing in those areas.  We are pleased to see strong motivation to do well on the ACT in our students because it is a very demanding five hour test, and there are certainly times every student will become mentally fatigued during the test.  Highly motivated students are far more likely to push through those times of mental fatigue by forcing themselves to be focused and push forward.  Their motivation and determination on the test is no small factor in their success, and ultimately how well they score.  
So, how can parents support their children in preparation for the ACT?  Please do what you can to ensure your child gets a good night sleep tonight, and a decent breakfast in the morning. We will provide snacks during the breaks in the testing process, but being well rested and having a solid breakfast can certainly help prepare students to deal with the very high mental demands of the testing.  Parents could also assist in preparing students for the reality that the test will be quite mentally fatiguing and encourage them to push themselves through those challenging moments.  One of the considerable advantages of taking the ACT multiple times is that on the second and third attempts, students are much more prepared to deal with the mental fatigue because they know from experience that they will have to push themselves to stay focused when they are mentally tired and their minds are drifting.  I think the previous testing experience helps students be more prepared to show some mental toughness on the test.  Discussing this reality with your children will also help them be a bit more prepared for the demands of their day tomorrow.  You may also remind them that they will have the afternoon off to relax, and that may help them invest more in the morning testing process.
On a completely unrelated topic, we want parents to know that we will be meeting with students next week to begin the registration process for classes next year.  We will meet with juniors on March 6, sophomores on March 7, and freshmen on March 9.   In these meetings we will be walking students through the registration process, providing information about courses they may be interested in taking, and guiding students in a course selection process that it is highly focused on taking classes that will support their career plans.  We do not anticipate much change in our course offerings or schedule, but if parents have any questions as the process unfolds, please feel free to call or email either Josh Cole or me.  
Have a great week.