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Testing, Testing

Super Test Day allows students to get feet wet in the world of high stakes testing

Traditional+classes+will+not+be+taking+place+on+Wednesday%2C+Oct.+11%2C+as+RV+freshmen%2C+sophomores%2C+and+juniors+are+slated+to+take+the+PSAT+in+the+morning.+In+the+afternoon%2C+the+Class+of+2018+will+rotate+through+informational+sessions+that+focus+on+college+and+career+planning.
Traditional classes will not be taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 11, as RV freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are slated to take the PSAT in the morning. In the afternoon, the Class of 2018 will rotate through informational sessions that focus on college and career planning.

Traditional classes will not be taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 11, as RV freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are slated to take the PSAT in the morning. In the afternoon, the Class of 2018 will rotate through informational sessions that focus on college and career planning.

Hannah Dreier

Hannah Dreier

Traditional classes will not be taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 11, as RV freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are slated to take the PSAT in the morning. In the afternoon, the Class of 2018 will rotate through informational sessions that focus on college and career planning.

Jeff Fleischman, Adviser

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On Friday, Oct. 6, during Ralston Valley’s Homecoming Week celebration, Mustang students celebrated Superhero Day.

Next Wednesday, Oct. 11, these superheroes will be back, but this time as super students taking part in RV’s inaugural Super Testing Day.

The Super Test Day is a required school day, and students will arrive at 7:25 a.m., and will be released at 12 p.m.

“Super testing day is definitely new,” said RV assistant principal Mr. Tony Pergola, the administrator in charge of testing. “The closest comparison we have is when we had students take the ACT during ICE. So, yes, in this format, this is entirely new to RV.”

After years of utilizing the ACT as its state-mandate, national test, Colorado became a College Board state last year, and juniors at RV and across Colorado took the SAT for the first time last spring.

“College Board has two dates, one Saturday and one Wednesday, that they release,” Pergola said. “We tested on a Wednesday a couple of years ago, and we only had about 200 juniors who showed up to test, and that was not a good representation of the junior class.”

For juniors, the PSAT provides an opportunity for those interested to earn National Merit Scholarship recognition. And that is another reason cited by Pergola to institute this variation of Super Testing Day.

“Quite honestly,” Pergola said, “we had kids who would have qualified for the National Merit Scholarship (two years ago), and they didn’t choose to take the test because various things got in the way.”

In addition to testing the junior class, RV freshmen and sophomores will also be taking the PSAT next Wednesday. Pergola said that RV administration looked at other models around the district and state, and recognized that other schools were getting 9th and 10th gradrs involved.

“Colorado is now a full College Board state, so we just decided to make this happen for all our students in grades 9-11,” said Pergola, noting that 1,325 students will take the PSAT next Wednesday. “This will allow students to get comfortable in that environment.”

Once results are returned, they will benefit both students as well as their teachers.

For RV teachers, data from Super Testing Day can be utilized to help modify classroom instruction.

For RV students, College Board accounts allow them an opportunity to view results as well as connect with Khan Academy. A nationally recognized test preparation company, Khan Academy can customize virtual lessons for students.

These lessons are constructed to provide students additional online learning opportunities to bridge learning gaps identified from PSAT results.

Ralston Valley seniors, while enjoying a little extra sleep in the morning, have afternoon activities set up to support them with college and career planning.

After testing is complete, the Class of 2018 reports to school at 12 p.m. where an opening session of the RVHS College and Career Planning Workshop will take place in the auditorium.

The RV Counseling Department, in conjunction with English 12 teachers, are hopeful that these sessions will provide context for what the senior class can expect in the next few months leading up to graduation.

“We wanted to allow students to listen to professionals in the industry about the process of getting applications ready,” said RV English Department chairperson Mrs. Jennifer Hoefer. “We also wanted to provide them with an opportunity to find out more about aspects of college that would be new to them.”

RV principal Mr. Gavan Goodrich and Pergola will open the session by explaining the logistics of the day. Four groups will be divided alphabetically, and these groups will travel to four different presentations over the course of two hours. Each presentation is 25 minutes.

The first of these four sessions focuses on the college admissions process.

Kevin MacLennan, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Executive Director of Admissions at the University of Colorado-Boulder will take students through this session.

College representatives from the Regional Officers of Admissions of the Rockies (ROAR) will host a pair of sessions.

In classrooms scattered throughout the M Hall, these individuals will talk to RV seniors about how to choose a college that is right for them. Some things to will consider in this session include two year schools vs. four-year schools, public vs. private, tuition and financial aid, and how to effectively research potential college choices.

In the E-Hall, ROAR representatives will focus on the idea of what students should expect once they are admitted to a particular college.

The T-Hall will be host to the Front Range Community College Outreach Team. Individuals from Front Range Community College will discuss current trends in collegiate majors as well as post-collegiate careers.

“Students hear about ‘majors’ and ‘minors’, but we wanted to elaborate on that and let them find out what jobs are available to them based on their majors,” Hoefer said. “Kids have lots of questions about what to expect in college, and we wanted to provide them answer to some of the more typical questions.”

courtesy of College Board
RV, in conjunction with College Board, will host Super Test Day on Wednesday, Oct. 11, for all 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. These students, most for the first time, will be taking the PSAT during the morning of Oct. 11.

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