The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 8, 2012

Preparing for Ohio Graduation Test is a yearlong process for Edgewood students

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —  It’s the critical time of year for sophomores. The Ohio Graduation Tests are fast approaching and the hours of preparation are going to be put to use. Amanda Lago, Edgewood Senior High School sophomore, says that she feels prepared and nerves are minimal.

“The work we do as sophomores is well past the level of the OGT,” Lago said.

SCA’s, Short Cycle Assessments, are tests that all underclassmen take. They are former OGT’s that once taken and results analyzed, show staff crucial data about skill areas that need work. SCA’s are just one way students are prepared for the important OGT. All students at Edgewood practice writing extended responses, which are a major part of the OGT, during the school year. OGT’s are a determining factor for graduation.

Nick Orlando, Edgewood assistant principal, says that preparing students for the OGT in a year-round process.

“We want to give students the best education possible to prepare them for the future, not just the test,” Orlando said.

Much work goes into OGT week on the staff’s part as well. Detailed schedules, spread sheets and various duties of the administrators must all be carefully planned and coordinated.

Orlando recommends that students simply read everything that they can. Not only will this prepare them for the OGT’s, but later in life too, he said.

Edgewood has been rated “Excellent” for three years in a row, and it is strongly desired that the tradition continues. However, Orlando’s positive outlook is evident.

“We are ready to go!” he said.

Edgewood is getting a jump start on next year as scheduling for freshmen, sophomores and juniors begins. Each class meets individually with the administration and learns about the classes offered for their grade level and what criteria are necessary to earn a diploma from Edgewood Senior High School in four years. Beginning in the school year of 2012-2013, new and exciting classes will be offered to Edgewood students.

Upperclassmen are permitted to partake in various new courses including Real World Application Mathematics, Forensic Science, Introductory Adobe Applications, Digital Editing, and Publishing. The incoming junior class will also be required to take a Financial Literacy course along with Career Search class for one-half of a credit.

Also gearing up for next year is the Edgewood show choir, Soundsations. They will be holding their annual auditions for new members on March 30 after school. Auditioning students will be required to learn a song and dance number to be performed in front of a panel of judges. Any sophomore or junior choir member may audition.

The Scholastic Bowl team from Edgewood came in second place in the 25th annual Scholastic Bowl this year, but it was a victory in adviser Michelle Sardella’s eyes.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased. They (the team) answered a broad range of questions and were fast on the buzzer,” Sardella said.

Sardella said she believes that next year with another year of knowledge under their belts and some practice on buzzing in faster, the team can continue with its success.

Edgewood’s book club is meeting Friday at 7 a.m. to discuss the month’s book, “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. The club has roughly 20 consistent members, including various teachers. Officers for book club include senior Melissa Miller, president; sophomore David Richards, vice president; and junior Bobby Taylor, secretary. The school librarian, Christina Fischer, serves as adviser for the group.

“We would like to schedule a movie night to watch a movie based on one of our novels, “The Help,” Fischer said.

The book club at Edgewood is a growing group that encourages new members to come and chat about their favorite novels and share opinions on the monthly book. As their T-shirts state, they “like big books and they cannot lie.”