It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child.
The same thinking can be applied to students at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics Academy who will take the ACT and Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) state tests on April 23 and 24, respectively. Students who do well tend to have their parents and others who are encouraging them to do their best.
"Research has shown that students who are encouraged often by parents, family members, teachers, and the community at-large achieve more in the classroom and on standardized tests," said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent for District 209. "We are thankful for the parents who actively encourage their students and our schools, and we encourage everyone to do everything that they can to ensure that students do their best on state tests."
Parents and the community can help to prepare students to do well on the state tests. They include:
- Encourage them to get plenty of rest before the test.
- Inspire them to take advantage of all opportunities to prepare for the tests.
- Help them read 30 minutes of non-fiction per day.
- Make education a priority.
- Make sure they understand that with effort, they can achieve!
Ms. Andrea Blaylock, who has a freshman, junior, and senior who are currently attending PMSA, agreed with this advice, saying that it is important for students to get their rest the night before the test. However, at the same time, she also said that it is important to emphasize that while the state tests are important, it does no good to stress over them.
"As parents, we try to focus on the importance of the test, but not to stress out on it," Ms. Blaylock said. "We tell students to do their best. It’s a gauge of how you are retaining what you have learned."
Ms. Janice Wordlaw, whose daughter is currently a sophomore at Proviso West, said that preparation for the state tests should begin earlier than the month of the exams. That includes taking advantage of every opportunity to learn in the classroom and beyond.
"The kids should be preparing for the tests throughout the school year," Ms. Wordlaw said. "They should be already prepared for that by the time they are to take the exam. Don’t wait until the junior year."