By the end of the Calibrating Period, administrators and academic leaders need to start designing the optimal environment for the Testing Period and develop a test preparation plan to be rolled out and practiced at the end of this period. In a best practice situation, they would be visible in classrooms and supporting student effort and performance while marketing their vision for an effective testing situation.
Teachers and students need to contribute their thoughts on what an optimal environment might include. Discussions could involve:
- Physical conditions (e.g., lighting, room temperature, or room arrangement).
- Pre-and post-test activities and schedules.
- Students’ preferred testing monitors.
Before testing begins, all environments, schedules, pre- and post-activities, and procedures need to be practiced and mastered. Academic leaders and teachers need to control identified distractors
and have plans B and C ready for unanticipated crises or distractions.
In a best practice world, everything would run smoothly, but in the real world, plans must be flexible and adaptable to meet unforeseen situations.
All stakeholders should know which students are ready for the assessment and which are still at-risk. For at-risk students, compensating strategies need to be identified and practiced before the Calibrating Period ends. All students who are at-risk need an adult mentor during the second half of the Calibrating Period. They should meet with their mentor, discuss the factors that put them at-risk, and target strategies designed to build confidence and competence. Our goal is to have every student come out of the Calibrating Period and enter the Testing Period confident that they can be successful on the assessment.
– excerpt from Turning Around Turnaround Schools, Volume 2 – Embracing the Rhythm of the Learner Year
The free tools provided on this site are pulled, in part, from our recent book Turning Around Turnaround Schools, Volume 2 – Embracing the Rhythm of the Learner Year. If you have questions about how to use any of these tools, please feel free to contact us, or check out the book, available on amazon.com.