Navy Pier Field Trip Rewards EPAS Testing Dedication & Growth
On Tuesday, June 16, a group of 30 freshman students went to Navy Pier as a reward for their hard work on the EXPLORE test, an ACT-aligned district test. Sponsored by their teachers, Ms. Kephart, Ms. Bryant, Ms. Schibelka, Mr. Spooner, and Principal Sorensen, students took the 66 Chicago Avenue bus to Navy Pier, where they ate a lunch of McDonald’s, then proceeded to the IMAX theatre to watch Jurassic World in 3D. It may sound like quite a treat, but these students worked hard for their field trip.
Back at the beginning of the second semester, teachers and students began preparing for the EXPLORE test, which students ultimately took on May 27. Students prepped for the test in their English, Math, World Studies, and Biology classes. Test prep didn’t just consist of practicing skills that would be on the test, but also brainstorming and reviewing strategies for test-taking and exchanging tips to improve focus and stamina during testing, such as getting a good night’s sleep and eating a full breakfast before testing.
Teachers created EPASPORT booklets—designed to look like US passports—which students took from class to class on planned test-prep days, used to record their strategies and goals, and got stamped by their teachers. In these booklets, students recorded their previous scores on the EPAS test from their beginning-of-year test in September and their middle-of-year test in December, and used those scores to set goals for their scores on the end-of-year test. Students were promised that if they improved their scores by one point in three out of four subjects, they would join their peers on a field trip to Navy Pier.
Many students met their goal, and the field trip was a success! Students thoroughly enjoyed watching the action-packed Jurassic World, exploring Navy Pier, eating to their heart’s content at McDonald’s, and even riding the CTA home with their friends.