The remainder of the exams are used by the district to prepare students for the ACT. The tests also help school officials determine the students' strengths and weaknesses so instructional programs can be targeted to their needs, Olson said.
“We want to use that data to find out where our students are,” Olson said.
Sophomores in the 2012-2013 school year had a drop in test scores comparing the results of their PLAN tests with their pre-ACT exams.
However, Smith explained such a decrease is normal since the pre-ACT test is much longer and more difficult and is designed to be a warm-up test to gauge their abilities. This test consists of a retired ACT exam.
“It's to give them their first experience of what the ACT test will be like,” Smith said.
And while test scores are an important indicator of student ability, they are not the be-all and end-all of education, Olson said.
It's also key to focus on programs unrelated to assessment tests, such as fine arts, he said.
“We want to see our students grow,” Olson said. “We want to make sure they're making progress and they're learning.”
Other MVTHS Board actions Monday included:
n Approval of hiring Heather Beckley as a part-time CTE instructor. Beckley's resignation was also accepted for her position as a full-time instructor.
n Approval of several staff resignations, including Laura Warren, senior class sponsor; Kiley Docherty, freshman class sponsor; Brian Chelf, assistant wrestling coach; and Jared Shaner, assistant boys basketball coach.