Fall is in the air as our secondary students begin the second six weeks of school and our elementary students enter the last three weeks of their nine-week grading period. I have written quite a bit in this column about the new STAAR and EOC testing that began last year, and these state examinations focus on postsecondary readiness from the third grade test through the eleventh grade end-of course examinations. Many things are happening in Lexington schools as early as kindergarten to focus our students being at a higher level of college/career readiness than in the past. This week I would like to remind our parents of one of the most important and high stakes assessments administered in our district and across the nation. The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) will be administered at Lexington High School on October 17th. We will be offering this test free for all tenth and eleventh grade students. Students not in tenth or eleventh grade can sign up with Mrs. Brockenbush to take the exam for fifteen dollars.
Taking challenging courses and reading a lot are the best ways for students to prepare for this exam. However, there are other steps those students can take to get ready, like becoming familiar with the questions and taking practice tests. At Lexington, our faculty has been working on increasing the rigor of all classes for several years and our secondary schools have greatly increased the enrollment opportunities for advanced classes and “dual credit” courses within our district. Additionally, Mrs. Jeanne Anne Hengst is teaching a new course this fall that focuses on SAT/ACT test taking strategies and writing. Mrs. Hengst’s goal is to encourage her students to take ownership of their learning as they set personal goals for increasing their performance on critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills. Our secondary counselor has met with all sophomores and juniors to give them information on the upcoming assessment. Please visit Mrs. Brockenbush’s counseling website to view presentation materials and resources. Mrs. Brockenbush also reviewed our new on line PrepMe Program which is a PSAT study guide that if students consistently use, can greatly increase their performance on the exam. All parents should have received a letter from Mrs. Brockenbush on how they can log into our Naviance program and check to see how their child is doing regarding college and career readiness. I am hoping our parents grasp the enormous advantages doing well on this exam can give their children and will encourage them to log on to the PrepMe Program and take advantage of the opportunity to be as prepared as possible before they take the PSAT/NMSQT later this month. I commend our faculty for their tremendous efforts in these college readiness labors and feel confident that with the support of our LISD parents, our students will see even greater results in the future.