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2016 Header CougarCritical News and Info Shaped

 

September 2016
ACT Updates
• Late registration for the October 22 test date runs until midnight on September 30th. The Retake Vouchers will still be valid through that time, but will require the registrant to pay the $27.50 late fee.
• Requesting ACT-Approved accommodations for the October 22 test date closes at midnight on September 30 (not today). The ACT has reported that requesting accommodations has been a bit of a challenge this fall with national testing migrating to a new system. The good news, is that the Retake students needing accommodations, most likely, were previously approved for State Testing last spring and this makes approving them for Oct 22, extremely easy! They do, however, need to have their approval moved to the October 22 test date, or ACT won’t know to ship testing materials for them. Students needing accommodations need to check with their folder holders and make sure that everything is taken care of NOW!

The fall conferences will take place on Sept 29th from 3-6 PM. Parents and teachers may sign-up families for appointments using the links below according to the teacher’s last name. Parents do not have to create an account to add an appointment.

Last Names A-F

Last Names G-L

Last Names M-P

Last Names R-Z  

September 8, 2016:  Senior Parent Night Presentation Slide Show

September 12, 2016:  Sophomore/Junior Parent Night Presentation Slide Show

September 15, 2016:  Freshman Parent Night Presentation Slide Show
Part ONE
Part TWO
Part THREE
Part FOUR

Exciting news!  Now, joining the PTSO is easier than ever!  Click HERE to join the PTSO and/or pay your annual dues online!

 

2016 Header Cougars Crushing the ACT Shaped

 

As you know, Williamson County Schools has established a county-wide goal of an average 25 composite score on the ACT.  To read more and see high school standings, click HERE.  With that goal in mind, we’re here to support you!  We have assembled of the programs and materials on this tab to help you score your best so that you can pursue your chosen post-high school path with confidence and ease.

Regardless of what you choose to do after high school, several truths ring clear nowadays:

  • A high school diploma alone is no longer enough to guarantee success in the job market.
  • Almost 50% of high school graduates in the United States don’t have the “skills or credentials” necessary to achieve their goals and feel successful.
  • Many students who choose to attend colleges or universities either drop out or stall out (fail to earn a degree or certificate within six years of enrollment).

Recognizing the need to ensure that all TN graduates have the essential skills needed to pursue a career or a degree, the state department of education devised the Pathways Tennessee program.  Its goal lies in making sure that all students can successfully complete industry certification from a Technical College, an Associate’s Degree from a Community College, or a traditional degree from a college or university.

So how does this relate to ACT?

Now that you  know you need to pursue something more than just a diploma to find a job that will support you and your family, how will you know if you’re ready to pursue one of the Tennessee pathways?

Every student needs to have a pathway in order to find sustainable employment, and one of the BEST measures of college AND career readiness is…YOU GUESSED IT:  the ACT!  THAT’s why you need to do well on the ACT!  It tests skills YOU need for success on the job.  No matter how you get to your career, doing well on the ACT is an absolute must.

Our comprehensive ACT Prep program will help you do that IF you participate to the utmost of your ability!

ACT WOW LOGO

This year, the entire CHS community will participate in a school-wide vocabulary enhancement program.  Our 9th grade students will engage in the Vocab Videos program, and the entire school will use them as “Words of the Week,” or WOW words.

Please look at these words each week and try to incorporate them into your vocabulary–use them whenever you can!  We’ll post the word lists here each week so you can follow along!

ACT WOW Word Lists

Fall 2016
Week ONE:  August 22-26, 2016
Week TWO:  August 29-September 2, 2016
Week THREE:  September 6-9, 2016
Week FOUR:  September 12-16, 2016
Week FIVE:  September 19-23, 2016

ACTRetakeLogo1

SENIOR NEWS BULLETIN–AUGUST 2016:
Seniors needing to improve their ACT scores can do so by taking the ACT again on October 22nd, FREE OF CHARGE!!!!!  Yes, you read that correctly.

Read this letter from Dr. Webb for the details:  Dr. Webb’s Letter

First, make sure you get a voucher from Counseling and register online by September 16th to avoid paying late fees.

Second, use this interim time to prepare yourself.  Small change can mean BIG gains!

To support your efforts to improve your score, we are offering a number of FREE ACT Prep workshops.  Make sure to sign up for as many as possible.  Students who make significant improvements will be recognized and eligible to receive a number of great perks!

Information from the State Department of Education:

Tennessee’s historical ACT data indicate that students who retake the ACT typically increase their composite score by one to three points. This increase in ACT scores could translate into thousands more students increasing their competitiveness for employment, avoiding remedial courses once they enter postsecondary, and qualifying for more scholarships and financial aid (such as the HOPE Scholarship). Increasing the percentage of students who graduate high school with improved ACT composite and benchmark scores will allow for more students to start their next phase in life on the pathways necessary for success. For more information, you can view the department’s full press release (here).

GENERAL NEWS BULLETIN–September 2016:
ACT Updates
• Late registration for the October 22 test date runs until midnight on September 30th. The Retake Vouchers will still be valid through that time, but will require the registrant to pay the $27.50 late fee.
• Requesting ACT-Approved accommodations for the October 22 test date closes at midnight on September 30 (not today). The ACT has reported that requesting accommodations has been a bit of a challenge this fall with national testing migrating to a new system. The good news, is that the Retake students needing accommodations, most likely, were previously approved for State Testing last spring and this makes approving them for Oct 22, extremely easy! They do, however, need to have their approval moved to the October 22 test date, or ACT won’t know to ship testing materials for them. Students needing accommodations need to check with their folder holders and make sure that everything is taken care of NOW!

ACTRetakeLogo1

SENIOR NEWS BULLETIN–AUGUST 2016:
Seniors needing to improve their ACT scores can do so by taking the ACT again on October 22nd, FREE OF CHARGE!!!!!  Yes, you read that correctly.

Read this letter from Dr. Webb for the details:  Dr. Webb’s Letter

First, make sure you get a voucher from Counseling and register online by September 16th to avoid paying late fees.

Second, use this interim time to prepare yourself.  Small change can mean BIG gains!

To support your efforts to improve your score, we are offering a number of FREE ACT Prep workshops.  Make sure to sign up for as many as possible.  Students who make significant improvements will be recognized and eligible to receive a number of great perks!  Keep checking here for more information.

Workshops (Click HERE to print the flyer):

We NOW have sets of FREE weekend workshops for you!

FREE SENIOR ACT WEEKEND WORKSHOPS

Three sets available prior to the October 22nd test:
SATURDAY MORNINGS 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Session I 9:00-9:50
Session II 10:00-10:50
Lunch and Q/A 10:50-11:10
Session III 11:10-12:00
Session IV 12:10-1:00

August 20 and 27
September 17 and 24
October 1 and 15
Each workshop is divided into four sessions (one per sub-test).
Students should stay for all four sessions.
Sign up on Signup Genius at the following URL: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F4CACAF28ABFD0-actprep4

Check out the  Workshops toggle to view and sign up for our FREE workshops!

Google classroom for each grade level

Join the Class of 2017 Google Classroom for frequent updates, memos, and strategies! Class code: 33dd9gb

Rationale

The purpose of our ACT Prep program here at CHS is to do everything we can to assist our students in achieving their academic AND career goals. To that end, we have developed a special 4-Year Plan, including our own ACT Preparation Course, which we feel will benefit all students, not only in terms of their ACT scores but also in terms of their overall success in academic course work and career skill development.

Vital Things to Remember

The ACT is by no means a comprehensive or definitive method of characterizing a student: it cannot clearly convey a student’s identity. Every student has a rich and diverse amalgamation of academic performance, personal integrity, athletic/extracurricular involvement and excellence, work experience, interests, honors, challenges, and backgrounds–these are the things which compose the real essence of a person and what he or she might bring to a college or university. Unfortunately, however, many students do not get to show off all of those amazing attributes because of test scores. They must successfully jump this hurdle in order to gain the opportunity to let those colleges get to know them, and we are here to do everything we can to facilitate that process.

The ACT Prep staff want every student to reach his/her full potential, and we are working diligently all the time to find new and helpful ways to do that. We will share every strategy and piece of academic content that we can find so that all our students are fully prepared to reach and exceed their goal scores.

9th Grade Program Overview

Getting Started with the Measurement Assessment (9th grade)

DURING I&E:

Every Tuesday, freshmen will encounter five new words through the Vocab Videos program provided by A List.  Their teachers will guide them through an interactive vocabulary review, and their English teachers will use these words in class and quiz the students to make sure that they have worked with them.  Additionally, these words will be the same as the ACT WOW Words each week, so the entire school will be reinforcing the same concepts.  Every year, the school will focus on a new glossary of words, so that by the time the students are taking upper level tests (ACT, SAT, and AP exams), they will have become familiar with most of the top 500 words most frequently appearing on the ACT.

IN GENERAL:

As they enter CHS, freshmen should sign up to receive vocabulary words and “Questions of the Day” (see below) and consult Ms. Bivins if they would like to enhance their preparation by taking additional coursework or getting extracurricular tutoring.

We also STRONGLY encourage freshmen to develop good study habits, excel in their academic course work, and read as much non-fiction as possible. Students who need guidance with study skills (note taking, critical reading, time management, etc.,) should consult with one or more of many school resources so that they may quickly become proficient–suggestions include, but are not limited to, their classroom teachers, counselors, free after school tutors, Cougar Academy staff, CARE Academy staff, and ACT Prep staff.

Studies show that freshmen who perform poorly have a very difficult time in making up for GPA deficits or doing well in the coursework for the rest of their high school career, so they should make every possible effort to make positive choices, get the best grades possible, and form positive relationships with their teachers and counselors from the very beginning.

If freshmen or their parents notice difficulties, we encourage PROMPT intervention. We have many resources at our disposal:
Direct assistance from the classroom teacher
Assistance from the student’s individual counselor
Cougar Academy
CARE Academy
Credit Recovery
Free After School Tutoring
Student/Peer Tutoring
Local Prep Resources
Assessment through our Student Support Services

In October, during the PSAT day, students will have the option of registering for the ACT or taking a practice test designed to create a baseline score.

If you would like your freshman to take an ACT this year, we recommend the April test because it offers the TIR (see tab).  This is a great resource for future ACT Prep planning.

In March/April of the freshman year, on the day of the state ACT for juniors, freshmen will take the ACT Measurement Assessment. For this test, we use an actual, retired ACT exam. We will score the tests in-house and allow the freshmen to use the results to guide their preparation. by conducting the assessment in the manner, freshmen may feel comfortable in doing their best on a real ACT exam but without worry that colleges and universities may see their scores before they have been exposed to all content measured on the exam.

Students should continue their QOTD activities as well as their reading throughout the summer.
ACT WOTD (Word of the Day)
ACT QOTD (Question of the Day)

10th Grade Program Overview

Moving on Up (10th grade)

During I&E:

Students will receive their own copies (free of charge) of A List’s proprietary test prep book, The ACT Book of Knowledge.  Students will cover as much as possible of the strategies and concepts in this book on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This year, they will not rotate but will remain in the same room throughout the program.

This program offers many benefits:
*It is offered during the school day; it doesn’t take extra time from extracurricular activities, part-time employment, etc.
*It costs nothing
*It does allow for directed studies time
*It does NOT require any homework–all activities and work take place during ACT intervention
*It offers additional instruction on writing the ACT/SAT and college essays, college application and teacher recommendation packet preparation, career preparation, and more!

In General:

In the sophomore year, students should sign up for the PSAT on October 19th as well as free practice tests to gauge progress from their baseline scores.

In March/April of the sophomore year, on the day of the state ACT for juniors, students will take a very important practice test on the day of the state ACT for juniors. We send this test to A List, which prepares individualized score reports and specifically prescribed improvement plans which we use in conjunction with our ACT Prep Course. We pay a great deal for this service, and it is wasted if test takers don’t do their best. In addition, the scores of this practice test play a large role in determining placement and course of study for our ACT Prep course. Students should take this test very seriously!

In addition, students should continue to read and to take advantage of outside resources (listed under “Online Practice” and “Local Prep Resources”).

Like the freshmen, the sophomores will also participate in the ACT WOW vocabulary program.

Students should continue their QOTD activities as well as their reading throughout the summer.

ACT WOTD (Word of the Day)
ACT QOTD (Question of the Day)

11th Grade Program Overview

ACING the State Assessment (11th grade)

During I&E:

Students will continue their participation in the ACT Prep program with the A List ACT Book of Knowledge by stepping up to three days per week:  Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays (or T, W, Th, if we are out on a Monday).

Again, it offers many benefits:
*It is offered during the school day; it doesn’t take extra time from extracurricular activities, part-time employment, etc.
*It costs nothing
*It does allow for directed studies time
*It does NOT require any homework–all activities and work take place during ACT intervention
*It offers additional instruction on writing the ACT/SAT and college essays, college application and teacher recommendation packet preparation, career preparation, and more!

In addition, students should continue to read and to take advantage of outside resources (listed under “Online Practice” and “Local Prep Resources”).

We encourage juniors to register for the December administration of the ACT and to register for the TIR (see tab).

We also recommend taking the test in June after school has ended for the year. Students are more rested, have completed all course work for the junior year, and are not worried/stressed by homework, projects, late nights at work or school immediately prior to the test, etc. Scores are generally higher in June than at any other time of the year.

Students may take the test multiple times. The ACT offers tests in September, October, December, February, April, and June. Students who have questions about any of those test dates may contact Beth Bivins at bethb@wcs.edu.

Students should continue their QOTD activities as well as their reading throughout the summer.

ACT WOTD (Word of the Day)
ACT QOTD (Question of the Day)

12th Grade Program Overview

Capping off the Senior Year

During I&E

Seniors will have the opportunity to take part in a five-week series of I&E workshops to gear up to the October 22nd test.  Note the Senior ACT Retake Opportunity.

In General

In order to prepare for the October 22nd test, we are offering a series of FREE after school and Saturday workshops.  Students should sign up for them (see appropriate toggle here) and work diligently to improve their scores.  Instructions for obtaining vouchers and registering are on the ACT Senior Retake Opportunity Tab.

Students will continue to have opportunities to improve scores as seniors by taking the ACT again in September, October, December, or even February. Even if a student has done absolutely no ACT Preparation up to this point, significant gains are still possible. Students with no prior coursework or independent study test preparation should make every effort to enroll in one of the many offerings we have available for all students.

They should continue to do as well as possible in all course work and not allow themselves to become lazy or complacent because colleges take senior coursework very seriously.

Students (yes, even graduates) should continue their reading throughout the summer so that they don’t allow their skills to lapse before entering college. Average weekly reading demands are likely to increase, perhaps exponentially, so students should prepare themselves.

ACT WOTD (Word of the Day)
ACT QOTD (Question of the Day)

FREE AFTER SCHOOL ACT PREP WORKSHOPS (open to all grade levels)
Two sets available prior to the October 22nd test: 2:45-3:45 P.M. each day Room locations will be posted on the CHS website at http://www.wcs.edu/chs 

August 29-September 1 and September 6-September 9 Sign up on Signup Genius at the following URL:www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F4CACAF28ABFD0-actpreparation3

October 11-14 and October 17-20
Sign up on Signup Genius at the following URL: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F4CACAF28ABFD0-actpreparation4

FREE SENIOR ACT WEEKEND WORKSHOPS

Three sets available prior to the October 22nd test:
SATURDAY MORNINGS 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Session I 9:00-9:50
Session II 10:00-10:50
Lunch and Q/A 10:50-11:10
Session III 11:10-12:00
Session IV 12:10-1:00

August 20 and 27
September 17 and 24
October 1 and 15
Each workshop is divided into four sessions (one per sub-test).
Students should stay for all four sessions.
Sign up on Signup Genius at the following URL: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0F4CACAF28ABFD0-actprep4

ACT During the DAY
Yes, you read that correctly! Now, there’s a FREE ACT Prep solution for you during the day, as well!
Athletics or activities keeping you away from the ACT Prep Workshops after school? Working on the Weekends and can’t attend the ACT Senior Weekend Workshops?
We have a solution for YOU!!!!
If your study hall falls during either second or fourth period, see your counselor to register for two special ACT Prep classes from September 6-October 21!
Hurry!!!! Spaces are limited!!

Join the Google Classroom for your grade level to make sure that you get important information about the ACT and how you can prepare for it!

Class of 2017:  33dd9gb
Class of 2018:  vl4z0j8
Class of 2019:  5m0wnmx
Class of 2020:  benyc2

Test Registration
ACT

Consult the ACT website for the following:
*Fee Waiver Eligibility Requirements
*ACT Codes for Colleges/Scholarships

If you’re having financial difficulty, speak with your counselor, and we will assist you!

We want to make sure that you have every possible advantage when you sit for the ACT so that you can get your best possible score.

Every student is different–we all have different backgrounds and learning styles.  ACT offers “accommodations” in accordance with the American Disabilities Act to help students  perform equitably.  ACT-Approved Accommodations can include extended time, alternate test formats, stop-the-clock breaks, and authorization to test over multiple days. Examples of alternate test formats are audiocassettes or audio DVDs, Braille or large print.

ACT-Approved Accommodations

ACT Accommodations User Guide

Since ACT is now online, students requesting both extended time and special testing must follow a new procedure.  PLEASE follow the information below carefully and direct questions to Mrs. Shuman.

Accommodations Information
*Information About Special Testing
(NOTE:  Only the Accommodations Supervisor may actually request these.  These links are for informational/educational purposes only. If you feel that you qualify for Arranged, Extended Time, or Special Testing, please see Mrs. Pam Shuman, our CHS Test Accommodations Supervisor.)

Directions:
*All students needing accommodations will go online to their web account and begin the registration process for their desired selected test date.
*At the beginning of the registration,  the screen will ask the student the following question:   “Will you need accommodations?”
*They will select “Yes.”
*The screen will then ask the following:  “Will you be requesting ‘Extended Time’ or ‘Special Testing'”?
*They will then select the appropriate one for their accommodation and complete the registration process using the appropriate form of payment.
*Once they have completed the registration process, they need to watch for an email from ACT.  They should then forward the email to Mrs. Shuman at pamelas@wcs.edu so that she knows they have paid to take the test and that she needs to submit the request through TAA for the accommodations.
IMPORTANT:  Students should make sure that they complete this process well ahead of the final registration date so that the accommodations have sufficient time to process.
Questions:  Email Mrs. Shuman.

Additional Helpful Forms and Information *Is my calculator acceptable?

When is the best time to buy a calculator for the ACT or SAT?  As you know, calculators can be very expensive, so when is the best time to go calculator shopping?  If you don’t mind getting a used calculator, shop in May and June when students are graduating and no longer need their old calculators.  Ebay is a great place to shop at this time.

If you don’t want to purchase a calculator, no worries.  Go to the library and check out a calculator for your use during the year.  Rental costs are NOMINAL, and you’ll be prepared!

For the April, June, and December test dates, you can order a special service from ACT called the “Test Information Release.”

This is a particularly great option for your test prep planning because, for a small fee (currently $18), ACT will send you a copy of YOUR answers to each question, as well as a copy of the test and the key, so that you can show your tutor/teacher the actual questions you missed and have him/her explore which distractor you chose AND why you chose it.

The ACT works very hard to create “distractors,” or wrong answers, based on common student errors and misconceptions.  When a tutor/teacher sees the distractor, knowing how to coach or what to reteach becomes exponentially easier!  In short, the small fee is worth it!

The service is available online here:  ACT Test Information Request

ACT’s Twitter!
Follow ACT on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ACT

Test Prep Resources Straight from the Source
Check out the resources on the act.org Test Prep page: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-preparation.html

Still not able to find ACT Prep help between now and the test date?
Make an appointment to see Ms. Bivins, and she will help you with some creative problem-solving strategies and alternative options! bethb@wcs.edu

 

We’re working on other ways to help you be successful.  If you want to work on your own studying, see Ms. Bivins in room 221 for suggestions!  We have lots of options for all ability levels and schedules!