FHC completes a successful week of testing


While FHC students were relaxing on the beach or laying in bed, assistant principal Whitley Morse was diligently working to organize the week after spring break: testing week.

The week consists of four different tests for the juniors: the SAT (Tuesday), ACT WorkKeys (Wednesday), the Social Studies M-Step (Thursday), and the Science M-Step (Friday). So, Morse was challenged with the task of fitting multiple tests into a complex schedule.

“Having testing week after spring break ended up being really nice for me,” Morse said. “I had all of the break to really get everything together and for the final organizations that the busy testing week requires.”

The break before testing was a blessing for Morse, but for juniors, the timing of testing week seemed to be a burden and potential score-downfall.

“I wish [testing week] was before spring break one hundred percent,” junior Will Brennen said. “I feel like I need a break after taking all of the tests rather than before taking all of them.”

However, the persistent hard work testing week requires is not the main reason students find that the post-spring break testing is inconvenient.

“I feel like, over spring break, a lot of things just slip out of my brain,” Will said. “So, when we come back and take the tests, I feel like I’m lacking some of the knowledge I had before break.”

In junior Kaylyn Whitten’s opinion, testing week would be most successful if it fell on the second week back from spring break.

“I don’t wish testing was the week before spring break because then I’m exhausted,” Kaylyn said. “I also wish it wasn’t the week after because students need to get back in ‘school-mode.’ If anything, I wish we had testing week the second week back after break.”

Unfortunately, the timing of the tests isn’t up for debate, nor is it in the hands of FHC.

“A lot of [the timing of the tests] comes from the state,” Morse said. “We do what they tell us to do. For the ACT WorkKeys and the SAT, we were given specific dates, and those are the days we tested on.”

The given dates are not all that Morse had to consider when planning the week, but also the possible absences of the junior class. Students play sports, have appointments, and can be caused to miss school by miscellaneous events. This can cause an issue during testing week.

However, Morse took all things into consideration and did her best to evaluate as many students’ needs as possible to make a schedule that allowed everyone to test at some point.

“It’s impossible to meet everyone’s needs,” Morse said, “but I think it’s important to do the best I can to work around people’s schedules and conflicts.”

With the hard work of Morse and the hard work of the junior class, this year’s testing week went by successfully, with minimal need for make-ups.

“This year, we’ve done pretty well with the testing week overall,” Morse said. “All the numbers for each test are super high with very few people who are going to need to make it up, which is always a good sign for us as a school.”

Many juniors were left relieved after the week came to a close, happy to have gotten it all over within such a short time period.

It’s impossible to meet everyone’s needs, but I think it’s important to do the best I can to work around people’s schedules and conflicts.”

— Whitley Morse

“Having all of the tests in one week is honestly fine,” Will said. “We are able to just go through all the hard work and then be done, rather than having to worry about taking them later.”

Although, other students did not feel the same way about the four brain-exhausting tests in four days.

“[Testing week] fit a lot into a short period of time,” Kaylyn said. “By the end of the week, I felt like a lot of people were mentally exhausted, and I feel like a lot of people really didn’t want to take the M-Step because of it.”

Brain-exhausted or grateful of getting all the testing over with quickly, students still understand the importance of the tests.

“These tests are what impact our school’s academic reputation and our class reputation,” Kaylyn said. “However, academic reputation isn’t the only thing we are thinking about when we take these tests, but also about funding for our school that comes from the scores and our personal futures.”

With the intense week of testing in FHC’s rearview mirror, students, specifically juniors, can relax and settle back into the normal flow of school. A successful, but stressful, testing week can finally be checked off.

“This year’s testing week turned out to be very successful,” Morse said. “I went into the week not sure of what to expect and ended up being very impressed and pleased with the positive outcome.”