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HMS students to see changes in August - Dothan Eagle: News

HMS students to see changes in August

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:22 am | Updated: 7:26 am, Wed Jun 12, 2013.

Headland Middle School ended the 2012-2013 school year with a bang. However, plans are already under way for changes that will come into effect Aug. 19.

“The end of the past school year was very busy,” said Kevin Sanders, principal at HMS. “We held our testing later, and this tended to make everything a little more hectic. But, we are getting a head start on our 2013-2014 school year. This year students will be greeted with many changes.”

Sanders stated, for the upcoming school year, all standardized testing will come from ACT.

“With all standardized testing coming through ACT, this means all the tests will be more difficult than what our students are used to,” Sanders said. “Our students have been participating in the ACT Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT). Now, students will be participating in the ACT Aspire testing. This test will be administered to students in third-eighth grades state-wide.”

Sanders also stated that students in ninth and 10th grades will see changes in the End of Course Test.

“In the past, the only courses addressed in the End of Course Test included Algebra, Geometry and English,” Sander said. “However, next year the test will also include Algebra II. It has also been studied and, in the coming years, more subjects will be added to the test. Once again, this will make things harder for students this year and in years to come. This is why it is so important that we will continue to focus on making sure our students are reaching their goals academically.”

Students entering the ninth-grade academy will be the first students in Headland to participate in Alabama’s new graduation diploma program.

“Alabama’s new graduation diploma option will be a benefit to many students across the state,” Sanders said. “The new system adopted by the state states only one form of diploma. However, the local school boards can issue advanced or vocational. But the state only recognizes it as a regular diploma. Also, 2014 seniors will be the only students who must pass the graduation exam. The state has done away with the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. All other students will be required to pass End of Course testing, which counts 20 percent of their grade. If a student does not pass the testing each time it is given, they will have other opportunities throughout high school to pass the testing.

“The new diploma option also states a student must participate in career preparedness programs, such as financial literacy, computer applications and computer planning in order to receive their high school diploma. The main benefit for students is this program is more flexible.”

Sanders also stressed the importance of communication between students, teachers and parents.

“Great communication between everyone involved is a must,” Sanders said. “We want our parents involved. We need our parents involved. It is our job to make sure each student reaches their four-year goal before moving to the high school. If a student does not reach their academic goal, we, as teachers, have not done our job correctly. I ask every parent of each student attending this campus, if you have a question or concern about your student, please contact me. I have an open-door policy, and I want to do what I can to help your child succeed academically.”

For more information on changes taking place at HMS, call 585-7083.

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