The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

March 20, 2014

Students construct vegetable beds, greenhouse

Produce from the gardening project to be used in Geneva High School cafeteria

GENEVA — When March began, Geneva High School sophomores knew they would be preparing for more than just the coming of spring. The Ohio Graduation Tests (OGTs) are required tests for all 10th-graders in Ohio and were administered during the week of March 10 to 14. However, this year marks the first time that school had to be canceled due to weather on a test day. The writing test was made up on March 17.

For two weeks prior to testing dates, many classes reviewed by doing bell-ringers and practice exams as classwork.

“I have my students review old tests and I try to give them specific directions on how to attack each question and figure out what the multiple choice questions are reaching for. A lot of times students need a refresher because the material on the OGTs is cumulative of things they’ve learned over the years,” said Donald Shymske, high school history teacher.

School administrators provided all test takers with breakfast, paid for by the sophomore class.

“Good nutrition is important to help the students think clearly and focus,” said principal Douglas Wetherholt.

Other motivations for students to come into school and take the OGTs were the prize drawings held at the end of each testing day. Randomly selected test-takers received items such as gift cards. What students may not know is that these incentives are sponsored by GHS teachers. All year long, teachers are permitted to wear jeans on Fridays if they pay $1 toward an OGT fund.

Advancements in technology happen every day, and GHS is no exception. “While technology such as SMART-boards and slates are not new, they are relatively new in our school, having been implemented within the past five years,” Wetherholt said.

The SMART-boards offer interactive and exciting tools for lesson planning and teachers can opt to use PowerPoint presentations, graphs, sounds and even videos to help visual learners.

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School Columnists
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