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Monday, March 05, 2007

THS Strongly Supports Students Taking AHSGE





This week is important for high schools students everywhere because the Alabama High School Graduation Exam spring testing is being administered to seniors for the last time before graduation, a second time to juniors, and all 10th graders will have their first opportunity to take all exams.



Talladega High School has taken great measures to support students who will be testing.
Dr. Trellys Riley, Director of Career Tech and coordinator of the High Hopes Committee, scheduled tutoring in the 5 testing areas during the school day, after school, and on the weekend to accommodate all students. Faculty members at THS even made phone calls to parents to make sure they were aware of the tutoring opportunities.

Earlier this year, Dr. Riley, using the High Hopes Fund, purchased USA TEST PREP, an interactive website which allows students to practice for the graduation exam any place that has access to the internet. This program is free to THS students and only requires a login name and password. Students may see Dr. Riley to learn more about this opportunity.

Mr. Douthitt, principal of Talladega High, suggested the school look for ways to boost and motivate students during this stressful period. To carry this idea forward, Katie Reynolds, ISI Supervisor (In School Suspension) presented to the ARMS (Awards, Recognition, and Motivation) Committee a plan to carry out this vision. Chairman Monte Abner and the committee granted the request for funds and the “Positive Promotion” came to life. The "Positive Promotion" plan includes a AHSGE pledge card and tips for doing your best, a ribbon to remind students to do their best, a sweet treat each day to help make testing sweeter, trial run procedures, and bubbling the demographics.

Ophelia Nash and Donna Honeycutt, teachers at THS, Nicole Callahan (Guidance Counselor), and Katie Reynolds have worked diligently to transform the school into a very motivational scene. The first thing students notice when they drive onto campus is the school sign announcing the dates of the AHSGE and a GOOD LUCK wish. A banner greets students as they walk into the school, along with signs around the upper floor of the gymnasium announcing the testing dates. When students go to the cafeteria, there is no way they will miss the huge sign with the message “Do Your Best on the Test!” The message is clear that this event is very important to the faculty and staff at THS.

To ease the mind of those testing, Mrs. Callahan, counselor for THS, arranged for a trial run for students who plan to test. Because of this trial run, students knew exactly where to go and what to do when they reported for the first testing day. During the trial run students pre-grid the necessary information on the answer sheet documents. The 11th and 12th grade students received their pledge cards. To further ease the worries, each student received a reminder sheet that listed vital information such as the room assignment, administrator for testing, and a check list of all exams they need to take.

It is touching to know that the high school was thinking beyond scores to focus on the students’ needs. A very important daily event for students is the break time they receive to grab a quick drink and snack. This is important due to the fact that many teens miss breakfast. In the past when the Graduation Exam was administered, the testers missed this break opportunity. This time around testers will receive a sweet treat each day with a motivational message. An example of this includes a delicious strawberry flavored red Twizzler and the message DON’T LET TESTS TWIST YOUR MIND.

The efforts of the high school do not go unnoticed by the district. Many people are unaware that the participation and academic results of AHSGE for the 11th grade class determine the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) status along with the graduation rate for the school. So having students successfully pass the Graduation Exam affects the individual students and their families, the school status, and ultimately the Talladega City School District.
Good luck to all students!

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