Some of our tenth-grade students will be taking End – of – Course retake exams next week. High School students graduating on the recommended or distinguished plan must pass 15 end of course exams to graduate, as opposed to the 4 exit level exams under the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) system. As I have said before in my column, these examinations are aligned to ensure students are college - and career ready, and are much more rigorous than the TAKS. Our teachers and students have been hard at work providing highly focused intervention for our tenth graders. Lexington High School has had several parent meetings to inform parents about the STAAR. I am hoping that tenth grade students and parents have grasped the impact not passing these exams will have on their ability to graduate and will come to school well rested and ready to perform their best next Monday and Tuesday.