FHC 4th Quarter Academic Update

From the office of Luke Lammers, Associate Principal

4th Quarter is the Final Lap - Let's Sprint to the Finish!

With one quarter left before the end of the school year, FHC enters the ever-important 4th Quarter. While this school year has already been successful beyond our wildest imaginations, the 4th quarter is when we have to show it on the scoreboard. Please read below to learn about our successes thus far and to see what is coming during the 4th quarter. Go Spartans!

Achievement Celebrations Through the 3rd Quarter

FHC is on the last lap of what has thus far been the most successful year in the school's history. This is not mere administrative cheer-leading and hyperbole. It is our hope that our successes thus far will produce the best 4th Quarter "scoreboard" in our 19-year history.

Instructional Improvement

After an unprecedented 770 walkthroughs completed through the 3rd Quarter, our monitoring of classroom instruction reveals an impressive 10% increase from 2014-2015 in the percentage of lessons that include the use of Objectives and at least one other research-based instructional strategy from Component 1 (Creating the Environment for Learning) of the Classroom Instruction That Works body of instructional research. This is due to the diligent effort of our staff and strategic professional development opportunities geared toward the use of research-based instructional strategies.

Dramatically Increased Monitoring of Instruction

Through just three quarters, FHC administrators have already exceeded the total number of 2014-2015 walkthroughs by 72%. This increased presence in classrooms gives building leadership a better glimpse of the magic that happens every day in our classrooms.

Easier Access To Meaningful Data

FHC has created systems that lessen the data acquisition demands of PLCs by finding ways to provide reports to PLCs showing macro-level standard mastery levels for all standards assessed. Our continued move in this direction is aimed at freeing up Wednesday’s early-release PLC time so teachers can focus more on applying academic interventions to students at, below, and above mastery.

Using Data To Impact Individual Students

All FHC PLC teams have submitted plans focusing on three priority standards, instructional strategy commitments, and efforts to strategically remediate and extend based on assessment results.

Increased Use of Smarter, More Accessible Learning Supports

Students are using Study Island more than ever before, showing a 185% increase in usage over the 2013-2014 school year. This allows students to independently prepare themselves for success in core an AP classes while also completing a free ACT-prep program.

Our Best Advanced Placement (AP) Year In School History

Advanced Placement (AP) students are registered to take 557 assessments in May, which means that FHC will administer 82.3% of its possible AP exams. Both of those numbers are historical bests!

Dramatic Increase in Access to AP Classes

Due to a pervasive, research- and data-based identification and recruitment model employed by FHC’s AP Steering Committee, during the registration window FHC students requested a staggering 1,091 AP course placements for the 2016-2017 school year, marking an increase of 55.2% from the current school year. This means that more college-bound Spartans will take college-level classes while in high school, thus dramatically increasing the likelihood of succeeding in college.

Recruiting Freshmen for AP Classes? ABSOLUTELY!

Close to 80 FHC freshman enrolled in AP Eurpean History for their 2016-2017 sophomore school year. Many of these same freshmen will participate in a week-long “AP Boot Camp” over the summer to give them a jump-start and to prepare them for the rigors of AP.

Elite College-Level ACT Prep For All

All FHC juniors participated in differentiated ACT Prep sessions offered by Dr. Mark Arnold from Saint Louis University, who continues to volunteer his time to help FHC students achieve at greater and greater heights.

College & Career Readiness

FHC seniors will graduate having taken either an ACT, ASVAB or a Compass assessment. The ACT is a universally-accepted college entrance exam. The ASVAB is a military aptitude test taken by students considering military careers. The Compass is a placement exam offered and accepted by most Missouri community colleges, including Saint Charles Community College (SCCC). Currently no known graduating seniors have not taken an assessment geared toward their chosen career path.

Major Assessments Coming 4th Quarter

In basketball and football, the 4th Quarter is a critical time where the ultimate outcome is determined. The same is true in the modern era of educational accountability. During the 4th quarter we participate in several assessments which are explained below. We are confident that our students will perform well on each.

End Of Course (EOC) Testing
From the middle to the end of April, students in Algebra I, English II, Biology, Government and Algebra II will take state-mandated EOCs. By state law, the tests, which are administered online during extended class periods, are included in the students' grades. From April 11th through April 14th, FHC will administer EOCs for English II, Algebra II and Government. EOCs will break for the following week order to accommodate the State ACT Exam, which will take place on April 19th. EOCs will resume on April 25th, with Biology and Algebra I students taking their exams. Standard-time EOCs will end on April 28th, with make-ups continuing into the following week. Scores are reported within a week of the close of each testing window.

Starting in 2015, the State of Missouri adopted the ACT as a state assessment for juniors. The ACT, which has long been accepted at colleges and universities as an entrance exam, will take place on Tuesday, April 19th. FHC will run a normal school day while juniors take the ACT in classrooms. Students have been pre-registered and results will be available by mail or at ACT.org 6 weeks after the test. Juniors should report to their testing locations by 7:20 am and need to bring identification, a calculator, and several sharpened wooden pencils. ACT prohibits cell phones and tablets from even entering the testing room. In addition, food and drink are not allowed in the testing room.

AP Testing
Starting on May 2nd and continuing for two weeks, students in Advanced Placement (AP) classes will take 557 AP exams. The exams are scored on a scale from 1 to 5, and scores of 3 or above earn the student college credit at most schools in the United States. To research colleges and their AP acceptance practices, please visit the College Board's website at https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/creditandplacement/search-credit-policies. It is incredible to have so many students challenge themselves at the highest levels possible while still in high school!

Final Exams
Final Exams will be held on the last three days of school. On May 17th, students will take finals in 1st, 2nd, and 6th Hours. The 17th will be a full day of school. On May 18th, students will take final in 3rd and 4th Hours. On May 19th, students will take finals in 5th and 7th Hours, making May 19th the last day of school. Both May 18th and 19th are half-days.