As we move forward into the second semester, I have some commentary to pass along. As I’m sure you have heard from your student, each class is now divided into two groups. The adjustment has been fairly smooth as both the students and I adjust to a somewhat different arrangement of the room and the allocation of instructional time. I’m very proud of the student’s willingness to accommodate a few changes with consideration for others and basic courtesy. This freshman class is showing strong signs of genuine progress and adjustments to big shifts in their school environment. The expectations are high at HSPVA, but students are meeting that challenge.
For both people pursuing academic geography and those taking the Pre-AP route, the primary focus is now on the End of Course Exam. I’m not normally a guy that gets worked up about these standardized assessments, but my approach is by necessity somewhat different this year. Because we are facing an unknown level of difficulty for these exams and in light of the warnings from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that the standards are much higher, AND considering that the stakes are even higher with regard to a student’s path to graduation – it is my duty to your child to make very certain this class is laser beam focused on the standards (TEKS) communicated to us this year by the people administering the exam, the TEA. This is the only way I can be absolutely certain that your child has the best opportunity of excelling on the Geography End of Course exam and moves on smoothly to the next level.
To that end, I have performed a detailed deconstruction of the standards, the new TEKS, and created five outlines matching them. These outlines will serve as a roadmap to the instruction for me, you and your student. The Legacies unit represents the first of these.
I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, please contact me if you have questions or concerns.