Social Studies Department working to boost HSA passing rate

April 16, 2007, midnight | By Julia Mazerov | 17 years, 3 months ago

After-school academic support available for students at risk of failing

In Early November, the Social Studies Department instituted after-school academic support in order to better prepare students for the Government HSA, which will take place on May 25, 2007. This effort, which is headed by NSL teacher Mark Grossman, will continue until the week of the assessment.

Grossman identified over 250 students in the class of 2009 who might benefit from extra help. These students were selected based on their quarter grades, semester exam grade and attendance.

According to the Maryland State Department of Education, the class of 2009 will be the first class that must meet several requirements regarding the HSAs in order to graduate. Though students are not required to pass each individual exam, they must have a combined score for all four exams of at least 1602. If students do not do well on one exam, they can make up for it by doing well on another.

Grossman believes this is where many will benefit from extra help. "If students excel on the NSL HSA, it will help them if they don't do well in other areas."

Though the Social Studies Department has one of the highest HSA passing rates, 22 percent of students have not passed the exam.

The department was issued a $400 grant from the PTSA in order to establish the program. The money pays for free snacks and prizes such as $15 iTunes gift cards and $10 Borders gift cards for the students who attend. Grossman believes that these perks are "incentives for students to take care of what they need to do," and a factor of an overall improvement in grades and test scores for the students that are attending.

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