Good morning, Parents.
The first semester of the school year has flown by rather swiftly. We are enjoying a very good year to say the least. Our three days of semester exams at the high school will be Friday, January 10th, Monday, January 13th and Tuesday, January 14th. We purposely set the schedule up with a weekend in the middle because we want our students to have additional time to prepare fully for the expectations of the cumulative exams. These cumulative exams are designed to review all of essential standards form the first semester and in that way are focused on the parts of the class that we view as our “guaranteed curriculum” that we strive to have all of our student’s master. We encourage teachers to use study guides, and teach their students how to develop a plan to review/study the most important concepts in the class in a thorough manner. We need the help of parents to teach our students that proper exam prep is about a 10 day to two-week process, not a last minute late night cram session. We also try to approach the semester exams with students in a way that shows them that the exam provides another opportunity to demonstrate what they can do on the essential standards from the semester. We review in class and support additional practice with interventions prior to the exams as well.
The first two days of exams are open campus for seniors only. The schedule for these days is heavy with required classes for 9-11 grade students, so we keep them at school when they do not have exams because this puts them in a better situation to spend some extra time studying and preparing. They would not likely invest that extra study time if they could leave school. The final day of exams is an open campus day for all students, and while the schedule is lighter on the last day of exams, this is also the day when many exams are made up due to conflicts in the first two days. We do not expect any student to take more than three exams in one day, so many exams get moved back to the final day to achieve this balance.
We will take a homeroom period to literally teach our students how to work through the exam schedule individually with a worksheet designed for that purpose, and answer their questions about the process. Our biggest request of parents is to ask you to please encourage your children to study about 45 minutes or more per day beginning right after winter break in preparation for their exams. Gearing up in this way is much more effective than last minute studying.
The exam schedule and related information was attached to the email version of this message. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at (920) 564-2346 x4001.