Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Make a Strong Finish

The fourth quarter just started.
As a quick reminder, here is a tool to predict your final grades.
Even though each quarter carries equal weight, many subjects involve scaffolding, or what you learn fourth quarter depends on your mastery of what was covered third quarter, which was built on second quarter's concepts, all dependent upon a strong foundation first quarter.
Further, because your final exams will likely be cumulative, it will be imperative for you to work to firm up those fundamental skills that you've learned throughout the year. In many cases, your performance on the final exam can mean the difference between a letter grade. And, just so you know, one letter grade by the time you are applying to college is a matter of 0.04 on your GPA. So, if you only get that C in honors Chemistry but you were hoping for As and Bs like every other course, that single C is not going to destroy your chances at having college choices.
However, you can do your best to prepare. With 8 weeks before (anticipated) final exams (four for seniors), you have time to pace yourself so you aren't cramming at the end of the quarter. And you never really understand anything you cram. Commit to an extra hour each day or five hours per week of studying and preparation. Your fourth quarter grade carries more weight than the final exam, after all - and for those who hope to be eligible for fall sports like soccer and football, your eligibility counts on your fourth quarter grades.
This is also a time of many events.
We just finished the School Day SAT for juniors. Between random absences and our representation at the VEX Robotics competition, 184 of our juniors took the SAT today.
Tomorrow is the BCPS Student Town Hall, from 11 to 12:30. Be sure to tweet your questions to Dr. Dance by mentioning @BaltCoPS, and the school district will even relax the firewall to allow access twitter from student accounts in the computer labs.
On April 23, 24, and 25, we will conduct AP Preadministration after school in the cafeteria. This allows you to bubble in your name and other identifying information without having to take precious time out of your testing experience and test practice in AP classes. If you have registered for any AP exams, be sure to attend one of these sessions.
The junior prom will be held next weekend. Juniors, be sure to buy your tickets during your lunch shift. See Ms. Bauer for information.
AP exams will take place between May 6 and 17. With the exception of World History and those students approved for accommodations, these exams will be given at the Pikesville National Guard Armory. Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the published start time. You are responsible for your own transportation since the Armory is so close to school. Like any other school day, when you are not engaged in testing (or in transit), you are expected to be in your classes. Like any other school day, if you arrive late to school or leave early from school, you must have a note from a parent/guardian to request for your tardiness or early dismissal to be considered for being excused. You can't just skip class before or after an exam and expect things to be fine.
The senior awards program is scheduled for May 21 at 5pm. All are invited, but those who will be honored will receive notification by mail at least a week in advance.
Lastly, due to Dr. Dance's aim to attend every high school's commencement ceremony, our May 29 graduation ceremony at the Towson Center will be held at 2pm. Ticket information is available from Mrs. Adess.

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