New Trimester Testing Schedule Rolls out

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The Prep implemented some improvements to the Trimester Testing format this year.  In prior years, students had taken all of their trimester tests over a span of three to four days.  Now, the schedule provides a testing period with two departments per day as a max for each student.  With this newly revised testing schedule, students are now able to have their tests spread out over six days.  The seventh and final day consists of a prayer service midday for students to attend.

I sat down with Ms. Sgaramella to learn more about the new trimester testing schedule that will be introduced this year.  Last year, Ms. Sgaramella spent time meeting with many of the teachers and departments to gather their input and listen to their varied concerns. One of the common concerns that most teachers voiced regarded the testing periods in general. Their coming forward with their concerns enabled many new ideas to emerge and eventually become incorporated into the new system.

One of the main pushing factors for this new schedule was to give the students more time to prepare for all of their trimester tests.  In the past, an unlucky student would be saddled with the task of taking two or more tests each day.  This was not easy for the students, and the staff noticed.  Additionally, the new system enables the teachers to have a longer window in which to grade their tests.  Some teachers have a multitude of classes, which requires them to both create and quickly grade an enormous number of tests. The additional few days will certainly help them to complete this task.

Another contributing factor for the new schedule was that some periods did not meet as often as others.  Because of this, students had less time in class to prepare and review topics with which they needed help.  Furthermore, under the old system, the teachers had less time to share with their students both their expectations and last minute tips on how to best prepare for their tests.  With the present scheduling system, the revised schedule allows for all classes to meet for an equal amount of time throughout the week.  This provides the teachers with equal time to go over and review topics about which the students may have questions.

Over the past few years, various changes and improvements have been initiated regarding the Trimester schedule. A focus has consistently been to ultimately make the testing less stressful and more productive for both the students and teachers.  If this year’s changes are successful, this year may finally be a trendsetting year for a fixed trimester testing format.  During one day of the trimester testing week, the teachers will ask the students for their feedback about the new schedule. The input that the students give will be helpful in determining whether this new schedule is here to stay.  If the feedback is negative, it is time for the trimester testing schedule crew to go back to the drawing boards to try and invent an updated schedule for the next year.  The hope for the faculty and students is that everyone will experience the benefits from the new system.  If that is the case, we will have a new schedule that will be consistent for the upcoming years.