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Eleven Kingsley High School Juniors Earn Recognition for Outstanding Test Scores

Eleven juniors from Kingsley High School were recently acknowledged for their exceptional performance on the Practice SAT (PSAT) and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT).

Their scores place them within the top 10% of the entire state of Michigan, representing rural populations and select demographic groups.

"I'm proud of them. This changes the trajectroy of what their future looks like. These awards speak to their grit and their ability to see the opportunity to get a good education here and take advantage of that," said KHS Principal Chris Rapes.

These awards provide students with an opportunity to showcase their academic prowess to colleges and scholarship programs seeking diverse talent.

Congratulations to the following students, who are now eligible for awards in the following categories:

Madelyn Wares

National African American Recognition Program

Tyren Delk

National First-Generation Recognition Program

Mason Glazier

National First-Generation Recognition Program and National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program

Isabella Paroskie

National First-Generation Recognition Program

Korbin Bedford

National Indigenous Recognition Program

National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program

Sayla Bender

National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program

Lucas Buning

National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program

Logan Face

National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program

Zachary Middleton

National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program

Nathan Peters

National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program

Natalie Sterk

National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program

These awards reflect not only the hard work and talent of the students but also the concerted effort of the entire district to improve test scores at Kingsley High School.

Last year, KHS science teacher Nancy Olenchek noted that neighboring schools with similar populations were outperforming Kingsley on the PSAT. She believed that her students' scores did not accurately reflect their potential.

She aggregated all of their individual test results, including what questions they got right and wrong, to create a statistical model that painted a picture of what went wrong.

"I broke down the data by domain and analyzed the performance of each student. I realized that many of them lacked test-taking strategies," said Ms. Olenchek.

Ms. Olenchek leafs through her binder of student score data and statistical models of test behavior and results alongside Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Peterson.

Ms. Olenchek discovered that some students struggled with time management during the test, missing out on easy points due to lack of strategy. She collaborated with math teacher Michelle Peterson, who had initiated a math intervention hour, to introduce additional test preparation programs. Along with teacher Robin Lewis, they implemented three programs aimed at familiarizing students with test formats and mastering content areas.

These programs include:

  1. In-class lessons on the PSAT's digital format, with Mrs. Lewis teaching students how to utilize the online graphing calculator for math and science sections.

  2. Weekly assigned "Quizzizzs" - online quizzes reviewing test content. Students can retake quizzes until mastery is achieved, with scores factored into math and English grades.

  3. Introduction of a new math intervention hour in Mrs. Peterson's schedule, providing additional support and practice for small groups of students.

Additionally, academic counselor Lori Heitmeyer organized free PSAT prep workshops on Sundays this past winter.

"We've been doing practice modules that get timed and students get the results back," said Mrs. Peterson. "They can actually go back and review and get explanations for the ones they got wrong."

The culmination of their efforts speaks for itself as practice test scores are already rising across the board.

"It validates all of the good things our teachers are doing. We have outstanding teachers. I can't tell you how many times I just walk into a classroom to tell them 'you're amazing, you're a rockstar' because it is incredible to work around people who are constantly trying to raise the bar." said Mr. Rapes.

These achievements not only celebrate the success of individual students but also highlight the commitment of Kingsley High School to academic excellence and student advancement.

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