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Wide open prairies might come to your mind when you picture the state of Kansas. Let me tell you, just like our state’s landscape, we at Insight School of Kansas are covering a wide open range when we administer state assessments and we have a lot of ground to cover!

In Kansas, students from grades 3 through 11 are tested on subjects including Math, Language Arts, History and Science.  We split the testing into three separate days and we test students at eight different testing sites. Most families live very close to a testing location. However, students located in remote parts of the state may have a little bit further to drive.

State assessments are a great undertaking. Our operations team works diligently with our administration to make sure all runs smoothly. Teachers, counselors, and advisors all pitch in to make sure all locations are well-supported. Our Kansas team ROCKS state assessments. From the early planning stages to implementation, we all work hard to ensure testing runs smoothly.

Below, I’ll provide a play-by-play of my third and final day proctoring middle school state assessments. By this point, I’ve spent two days with these students, so there is a friendly tone and everyone knows what is to be expected.

7:10 a.m.: My coffee is made and I’m out the door on the way to the location I’ve been assigned. I’ll be proctoring at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas

8:10 a.m.: I arrive and quickly meet up with our school counselor who will be proctoring with me today. We carry our items to our location. We’ve four heavy boxes of laptops as well as another box of materials we need for the day.

I set up the paper items and get passcodes and student information ready to hand out. I get sign-in sheets, students testing information, scratch paper, and pencils ready to go.

As soon as our ‘paper items’ are ready, I jump in and help our school counselor who has been working to get 16 computers up and running. This may sound like an easy task, but each computer has a power cord, mouse, and headset, and must be connected to a surge protector.

As we are finishing, our students begin to flood in. At this location we have about 10 students coming in the morning, and 10 more arriving after lunch.

9:00 a.m.: Testing is officially underway. We, as proctors, are extremely busy reading directions, handing out passcodes, and monitoring students. We take attendance at 9:15 a.m. and send the names of any students who didn’t make it out to our caller. Having a caller is wonderful. The caller reaches to the students’ families to see why they were not able to make it to testing, so the rest of us proctors can focus on the students present at our site.

11:00 a.m.: I begin administering my secret weapon: the granola bar. We encourage our students to take frequent breaks, and sometimes a small snack is just the excuse they need to take a short rest between assessments.

12:00 p.m.: They say time flies when you’re having fun, which means we must be having a blast. Not all students arrived at 9:00 a.m., so we don’t have a break between our morning and afternoon session. The counselor and I take turns grabbing a bite to eat. We have Clorox wipes and we aren’t afraid to use them to freshen up the room between testing groups.

1:00 p.m.: During this session we have a repeat of our 9:00 a.m. testing.

4:00 p.m.: Our last student finishes up! We begin to pack up all the boxes of computers and load the boxes in the car to return to our central office. When this task is finished, we are able to head out. It was a great day of testing with no hiccups! Just the way we like it!

JoMarie Bolick is a math teacher at Insight School of Kansas. Learn more about Bolick here. 

About The Author

Jo Bolick

Jo Marie Bolick is a math teacher for Insight School of Kansas (ISKS) and Kansas Virtual Academy (KSVA). She began working at ISKS in 2009 shortly after the birth of her first son and has taught a variety of math classes. Prior to ISKS, Jo Marie spent four years teaching 8th grade at Washburn Rural Middle School in Topeka, Kansas. She currently works with 7th and 8th graders and enjoys cultivating interest in mathematics in an online environment. Jo Marie graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, specializing in secondary education, and she holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kansas. For Jo Marie, teaching online is the perfect fit. She was never good a choosing teacher clothes and decorating bulletin boards. Most of all she cherishes the opportunity to build relationships with students state-wide. Outside of teaching she enjoys running, gardening, and being outdoors with her husband and two sons.

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