Streetsboro -- The Ohio Graduation Tests will be administered March 11-15, and students and faculty at Streetsboro High School have been working hard to make sure testing goes well.
The Streetsboro Community PTA, Parents for Public Schools Streetsboro, the Streetsboro Alumni Association, Streetsboro High School Student Council and Streetsboro High School Principal Eric Rauschkolb, through the principal's fund, are donating breakfasts to the 170 sophomores who take the five-part test that week. Students have many chances but need to eventually pass every section of the test to graduate, said Rauschkolb.
Students are tested on a different subject each day of the week for two and a half hours. The subjects are reading, math, writing, science and social studies, said Rauschkolb.
"Good nutrition is always going to help students perform better, whether it's an average day or a day with a high-stakes test," he said. Offering breakfast at school has the added effect of waking students up in the morning rather than "wiping the sleep out of their eyes 10 to 15 minutes from getting up" when they sit down for the test, he added.
Michelle Mrakovich, an officer with PPSS, said Giant Eagle offered the organization a discount on food purchased for the breakfast
"It's a way to give back, and we feel it's important," she said, adding it's the second year the organization has helped provide breakfast during testing week.
Sophomore Emily Fernandez said the breakfasts should help students.
"Having that available really helps you to be more focused," she said March 1.
But preparation requires more than making sure students are awake and well-fed, said Rauschkolb.
For weeks leading up the test, students can seek help during 50-minute daily academic support periods when they can seek additional help in weak areas, he said.
"Students have a pretty good idea of their strengths and weaknesses when they go into the test," he said, adding teachers and tutors are available during the daily academic support period in every subject. "For most of our sophomores, they will get one week of tutoring in each of the different content area."
Sophomore Spencer Deevers said science teacher Dr. Tracey Schneeman gave students a practice science OGT to help familiarize them with the type of questions they'll encounter.
"I think the school has prepared us pretty well for the test" by teaching students how to "handle adversity" and emphasizing the importance of "doing your best," said Deevers.
Although she's not worried, Fernandez said she thinks some students are nervous about the science portion of the test because sophomores haven't taken courses like physics and chemistry.
Streetsboro High School sophomore Brooke Bolyard said a practice test she took included "basic knowledge" of science.
Last year, 90 percent of students passed the science portion of the test, according to Rauschkolb.
Bolyard said the practice tests helped her understand what areas to focus on in her preparation.
Rauschkolb said getting familiar with the test is an important aspect of preparation.
"The more we can get students used to the format of the test, the less nervous they'll be going in," he said.
Fernandez also said English teacher Jim Boardwine worked with students to make sure they understand what evaluators will be looking for in the writing portion of the test.
"As a study group, we kind of edited our own response," she said.
Rauschkolb also said it's important students get plenty of sleep during testing week.
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens