Students prioritize during week of assessments


Aidan Kurt

Nolan Scheetz reviews his notes for an upcoming test. Many students consider their class tests as most important. “The [GMRT] is less of a priority compared to my regular classes because it doesn’t go on the grade,” Scheetz said.

Throughout high school, students’ academic progression is tracked to follow individual growth.

Starting on March 9, students will take assessments to give the district an idea of how students are performing compared to the academic standards.

“The tests are mainly for the district to see where the students are at in each subject, and where they need improvement,” said Tiffany Jay, an English teacher at Carlmont.

The test is dependent upon grade level. Ninth and 10th graders will both take the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test (GMRT). The 11th graders will take the Smarter Balanced exams, and 12th graders will take the science exam.

The GMRT focuses on students’ vocabulary and reading comprehension. Because it is an assessment of abilities, it does not create much stress for students; however, many still feel obligated to do their best.

“I don’t feel too much pressure because, as far as I know, it doesn’t get put into our grade,” said Nolan Scheetz, a sophomore. “Even so, I do want to do well on it, but I don’t plan to study because I already have enough work as is.”

Rather than the GMRT, 11th graders will take the Smarter Balanced exams. These exams are designed to adapt to the student, becoming easier or harder throughout to determine the student’s skill level more accurately. Like Scheetz, many 11th graders have concerns other than the test.

“I’m taking the SAT this Saturday, so I feel like I need to focus more on that than these tests,” said Sean McGlaughlin, a junior. “I still feel confident in my abilities to do well, even without preparing.”

In all grades, English learning students will take the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California. This test is designed for students with a different first language to determine their English language proficiency.

To correctly evaluate each student, class periods are extended to give more time to take the tests.

Students will have 95 minute block periods from Monday through Thursday. The block schedule will continue the following week, but only 11th graders will take the math assessments. Friday, March 13, is a minimum day.

“I don’t think that many people are worried that much about the test,” Scheetz said. “Most probably just view it as a change to the normal schedule.”

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