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District 209 Schools Improve Participation Level on State Tests

May 17, 2013 09:00 AM
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Forest Park, IL...One of the goals of the District has been to ensure that students fully participate in both days of state tests. This is a minimum requirement to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

This year, schools really hit the mark. At least 95 percent of the juniors at all three schools in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 took the ACT/PSAE during the last month.

At Proviso East High School, 97 percent of the juniors took the exams during the regular testing dates on April 23 and 24 as well as the make-up dates on May 7 and 8. Proviso West High School had a final count of 95.7 percent of its juniors taking the tests on the same dates. Proviso Math and Science Academy had 100 percent participation, said Mr. Ed Moyer, executive director of assessment and planning for the district. Each school is expected to meet 95 percent in order to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

"It was important for not only the students, but for our schools that as many of our students show up and take the exams," said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. "Many thanks deservedly go out to our parents, faculty, and staff for all of the hard work they put into making students understand the importance of full participation. This has included encouraging those students who missed the original round of testing to take part in the make-up tests."

While the final test results will not be known until this summer, attendance on the original days of the tests was greatly improved. At PMSA, 99 percent of the 233 juniors at Proviso Math and Science Academy were at school on both days. Attendance on Day 2 for the PSAE jumped from 74 percent of the juniors at Proviso East High School last year to 92 percent this year.

The higher participation rates came after an aggressive campaign that began in January and continued through the make-up dates of May 7 and 8. Juniors took a practice ACT on January 8, followed by attending ACT prep programs and reviewing retired ACT tests with their teachers to become more familiar with the format. All three schools also had public awareness and incentive programs and held pep assemblies designed to stress the importance of doing well on the tests. In addition, posters and banners were hung around the school buildings and incentives included extra tickets for prom and graduation, T-shirts, gift certificates, and raffles for a flat-screen television.
 
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