As the school year begins to come to a close, both students and teacher alike are preparing for the STAAR end of course exams to come around the corner.
“Springtime is [the] time for the STAAR test. Our first round will be in April and that is where our students that are taking English one and English two STAAR [end of course exams] will be testing,” counselor Courtney Tarbox said. “We will start with English one EOC on a Tuesday, April 9th. And the school will be testing, we will have students testing in their classrooms and in the library area and there will be plans for students who are not testing in the other classrooms. And then English two will be April 11th.”
Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will all be taking at least one STAAR test near the end of the year, while seniors are excluded from this as they prepare for graduation.
“So, typically we will have 9th graders taking English one in April and then biology in May and then some of our 9th graders, about over half the class, will be taking algebra one as well in May,” Tarbox said. “And then typically we have our 10th graders English two in April and then our juniors will be taking U.S. history in May.”
Students will be offered possible opportunities to study and review past material by teacher-led review sessions both inside of the classroom and even outside of the classroom as well.
“Our academic deans and our teachers have been working hard to prepare our students for the STAAR test. I know that some departments, like biology and English, have also offered lunchtime tutoring and they have also invited students to different study sessions. I think social studies will be doing that as well with US history,” Tarbox said. “So I think every department and every group of teachers teach those EOC subjects do have different study groups and tutorials to help prepare students in the classroom and opportunities out of the classroom.”
If a student happens to be sick on the day of the STAAR test they can come back to make it up. This applies to a student failing the STAAR test as well.
“If a student fails the STAAR test, there are retest opportunities. The first one is in June, it’s usually that last week in June and students can come here to Johnson. They would be invited to come if they are eligible if they need to retake the test,” Tarbox said. “Then there is also a retest in December as well, so there are opportunities for them to retake the test.”
Students can not rely on there teachers solely to help in preparing and studying for the STAAR test, they must make the effort themselves first and foremost.
“During the window of testing, it’s really important for students to remember to get a good night’s sleep, get good rest, take good care of themselves by eating a good and healthy breakfast, trying to help maintain that energy to help them focus,” Tarbox said. “So really it’s just trying to take good care of yourself physically and then also mentally just knowing that you are going to try your best on it, just kind of staying calm and trying their best. Our teachers will work hard to make sure that students have a nice and quiet environment to take their test in.”