State testing underway at Hayes


Students at Hayes High School began taking Ohio’s State Tests Tuesday and will continue to take two tests a week for the next month.

Hayes High School Principal Dr. Ric Stranges explained Tuesday that more than 420 students, mostly sophomores, completed the reading portion of the state’s English language arts test. Next on the list is the writing portion, which will take place Thursday.

Stranges said the school has reconfigured the schedule for students to provide them with a better testing atmosphere.

“We’ve tried to create an environment at school that is conducive to testing success,” he said. “In order to give them the best testing environment, we asked the district if we could go on two-hour delays on testing days. Those delays allow us to have the entire building as a testing site. The stakes are so high because it’s a graduation test, and we want to make sure we give them the best opportunity to pass.”

Next week, the tests will cover U.S. history and government, while the following week will focus on biology, Stranges said. Algebra and geometry will be covered the final week of April.

“(The tests) hit the core areas,” Stranges said. “The students have to pass all of those in order to graduate. If you don’t pass, you get to try again the following year or over the summer.”

Stranges said the tests change every year, but he hopes the school’s new standards-based learning system helps better prepare students.

“As we move towards standards-based, our students are going to have a better chance to pass the first time because of the work our staff has done in connecting and aligning standards in what we’re teaching,” Stranges said. “The test is standards-based and our curriculum is standards-based, so we’re hopeful.”

Stranges said English 10, government, and algebra are already taught in standards-based classrooms.

“We’re getting there,” he said. “It’s like building the airplane while you’re flying it, but I think we’re going to see positive results.”

Stranges said he is looking forward to the feedback about the school that will be provided by the tests.

“It’s not just about the scores but when we do score well, we look at those areas where we were a little bit lower and now we know exactly what to expect, what areas to ramp up, and what areas we need to spend more time in,” Stranges said. “This will give us better data to drive instruction. We’re excited to see where we land.”

Stranges said his goal is 100% of students passing all the tests.

“I think this gives us the best chance and opportunity,” he said. “I think it’s only going to get better through the years.”

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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