Waiver Days Will Focus On Improving Weak TAKS Areas
May 18, 2012
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Since Wavier Days for those who passed TAKS were moved from Spring Break to the end of the year, most students will be taking exams on May 22-24, ending their school year seven days early.
“Testing made us push back the Waiver Days this year (because of) all the secondary school End of Course Exams and STARR tests which are taking over TAKS testing,” Principal Donna Grant said.
Attendance will be May 29- June 6, for those who failed a section of the TAKS test last year and students who are targeted to participate in credit recovery.
“The credit recovery’s going to make more people come now,” sophomore Erick Castillo said. “I wasn’t going to come all seven days but now it’s more than likely I’ll be here.”
The credit recovery option is pass/fail and will not affect GPAs.
“I don’t know if I’m going to fail anything right now but it’s a better back-up plan,” Castillo said. “If do fail a class, I’ll have the opportunity to make it up in seven days without putting in a year’s time.”
Students who passed TAKS but are failing a class will also be given the opportunity to come during these days.
“I don’t have to come because I passed TAKS,” Patricia Reyes said. “I was going to sleep in and hang out with my friends but I got a letter saying that I needed to make up a credit.”
Attendance all seven days and no discipline issues are required to earn a credit.
“It’s a lucky opportunity for me,” Reyes said. “I plan to come because if I don’t, I won’t get my credit.”
Students who come may also earn a credit that they need in the future.
“It’s mainly going to be enrichment,” Grant said. “You won’t need any more credits but you can get your health credit out of the way or your technology credit out of the way, you might say.”
The opportunity also aids seniors who are not sure if they will be able to graduate or not.
“If the student is on the border and doesn’t know until that final week if they failed Government of not, we can get them ready to go for graduation,” Grant said. “It’s going to be a win-win for everybody.”
She said the decision to use the days for credit recovery was an easy one.
“We are going to try and capture those credits for those folks that have to be here so they can graduate,” Grant said. “We are fired up about it because we can replace a six week summer school session in those few days.”
This will give students an opportunity to catch up with their graduating class without summer or night school.
“It just seems logical,” Grant said. “For a senior, this will keep them from graduating with the junior class.”
Even though the TAKS test has already been taken, these days will still focus on math and science skills.
“The lessons involve baseline skills needed for graduation and will prepare underclassmen for the exit level TAKS,” Dean of Instruction Jennifer Ellison said. “All the lessons are high engagement and based on the school’s weakest math and science areas of the test.”
According to Grant, changing the timing of the waiver days was necessary.
“We would have left it on Spring Break since it worked beautifully and allowed the kids the enrichment; it was perfect,” she said. “It’s just the EOC Exam start 9th Grade and below, which meant they were going to be taking test later in the year. We couldn’t schedule this break and become adequately prepared for the EOC.”
One student, who passed the TAKS and all her courses, was happy about the change.
“At first I was really mad because I wanted a two week Spring Break but now I am really happy it got moved to the end of the year,” junior Adenrele Saka said. “Now, we get out of school two weeks earlier than other schools.”