The Paw Print

AIR testing causes major change to schedules

The+two+hour+delay+on+test+days+will+give+upperclassmen+the+opportunity+to+sleep+in+or+come+early+to+school+to+get+ahead.
The two hour delay on test days will give upperclassmen the opportunity to sleep in or come early to school to get ahead.

The two hour delay on test days will give upperclassmen the opportunity to sleep in or come early to school to get ahead.

Element5 Digital/Unsplash

Element5 Digital/Unsplash

The two hour delay on test days will give upperclassmen the opportunity to sleep in or come early to school to get ahead.

Nicolas Starobinets, Guest Writer

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Two Hours.

That is how much later classes will begin for three weeks on Mondays and Tuesdays, starting April 16.

End of year testing has, as said by Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Staff Development Jarrod Mulheman, “Systematically created a nightmare for teachers and students.”

But it is a nightmare that is being dealt with in a new way, a dedicated two-hour testing block at the start of three Mondays and three Tuesdays. It is a plan developed by Assistant Principal for Student Affairs Grades 9-10 Brian Linn. Mulheman said, “Mr. Linn really looked at trying to find new ways to administer the exams without missing as much instructional time and so that everyone was missing the same time. We wanted students to be able to go all of their classes, rather than missing half of them.”

This ensures that students will not be missing class, but it also results in heavily shortened class periods, with most periods lasting 30 minutes, rather than the traditional 50, with the exception of the three lunch periods, which are, instead, 40 minutes in length.

The set-up for testing is radically different in more ways than one. Not only are there the time blocks, tests will also be administered on the student’s Chromebooks. This completely changes how the tests are scheduled, as Mulheman said, “And before, we’ve used desktops, which are on a different network. I think, smartly, we designed the day where we removed the outside traffic from classrooms on the network, so the only people using it are the kids testing. There’s no teacher or kid in study hall streaming videos, slowing the network down. Unlike previous years, we now have enough devices so that everyone can test at once.”

In years past, testing periods have taken the place of several class periods, and were spread out over the course of a month. With the addition of the Chromebooks, all the students can test at once, cutting the number of days required for testing significantly..

The additional late arrival days change much, and save freshmen and sophomores much in the way of instruction time, and with so many students simultaneously taking the exams, extraordinary amounts of time are saved, as Mulheman said, “This is everyone in certain grade levels testing, rather than kids who self-select to take the AP exams. It’s about 600 kids.”

With the assurance that students will not be missing any classes, comes the issue that, because most classes are 20 minutes shorter than normal, teachers must severely reduce the amount of information that is taught or reviewed each day, such is the case with AP Physics 1 teacher Dr. William Selent, who has to teach an entire chapters worth of material as well as conduct review for the AP test come May, and said “We’re a week behind where we were last year.”

The changes also affects the personal lives of students in other ways, for instance, senior Lorenzo Coleman, a student who is tardy to school almost every day of the week, and is relieved about the extra late-arrival days said, “I don’t think you even can be late on those days.”

In a similar vein, senior Alex You was excited for the additional days and said, “They’re great!”

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AIR testing causes major change to schedules