Test-week Olympics at Thunder Mountain

The events relieve the stress from testing and help students focus

Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

At Thunder Mountain High School, the week of the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam and Standards Based Assessments mean something else, too - time for cookie-decorating, pingpong and basketball competitions.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

This is the second year for the school's "Test-week Olympics." Kids from the school's four wings compete against each other throughout the week, signing up for a minimum of four events, according to Activities Director Rhonda Hickock.

"There are different things to find a student's interest and provide stress relief from testing," she said. "They focus their energy for the testing."

The games are also a fun, different kind of way for school staff to interact with kids, she said.

Some of the different activities are chess, soccer, basketball, Garage Band (a computer program in which kids make music), Guitar Hero, dodgeball and a study session.

There are two sessions each afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The sixth session includes a school assembly for the finals for tug of war, basketball, and volleyball, as well as a cheer routine and a dance performance from The Floyd Dryden Middle School dance team.

"It was really fun last year, so we're looking forward to it this year," Hickock said.

This week, sophomores and upperclassmen who have not yet passed the High School Qualifying Exam will be taking reading, writing and math sections of the test on different days. This week is also the week for Standards Based Assessments, given to third- through tenth-graders. There is also a science standards-based exam for tenth graders.

Tenth graders' SBA and HSGQE tests are combined into one. Upperclassmen who haven't yet passed the HSGQE take a shorter test that is not combined.

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