As the end of the school year approaches, the Bay has begun preparing the testing schedule for Advanced Placement (AP), Advanced International Cambridge Education (AICE), SAT, Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) and End of Course (EOC) exams. Certain AP, AICE and honors classes require a proctored end of year exam during school hours. Due to these exams, a large number of students must be excused from their regular class schedules in order to attend the test. Therefore, numerous conflicts arise for students and faculty alike during the assigned testing period.
At the Bay, there are 32 AP and 23 AICE courses available for students, with more than two-thirds of AICE courses having multiple days for exams. Students taking exams are automatically excused from classes regardless of the time scheduled for the test. Therefore, teachers and students must accommodate their schedules to better fit the testing schedule. Students must make sure they are conversant with their teachers about their work and must ensure they are on track with their curriculums, regardless of missing class. This requires test takers to maintain their grades as well as focus on passing exams.
Even though some students may not have a conflict, students who do not take higher-level courses may be affected, as well. Teachers who oversee AP and AICE exams must have been certified to teach those advanced courses, regardless of the subject. Teachers who may instruct both regular, and higher-level courses will not be available to teach due to proctoring testing sessions. Furthermore, teachers who may have a substantial number of students absent from class may adjust their lesson plans to better accommodate all to ensure important material is not missed. Since teachers may be proctoring exams, the Bay has the responsibility to assign a substitute teacher to oversee the students in their prospective classrooms. Teachers may be unable to give the assignments they wish to assign due to their absence. Overall, students and teachers alike are affected by the testing schedule.
As a solution to these scheduling conflicts, the Bay has declared certain exams to be on Super Testing Days. Super Testing Days are exclusively reserved for students testing and no classes are held. Overall, there are no conflicts with student schedules. In the past, Super Testing Days have been assigned to Reading FSA, Writing FSA, SAT, Biology I EOC, Algebra I EOC, Geometry EOC, and United States History EOC exams; in Broward County, these assessments must be passed in order to graduate. Super Testing Days are required to be scheduled at the Bay once over 2,000 students are testing. This year, there will be six Super Testing Days, removing an SAT day from last year’s schedule due to only 1,500 students testing. The State of Florida allows for schools to choose the dates of state exams; the Bay ensures the dates of these tests to not be on certain AP and AICE testing dates. Super Testing Days have benefitted students immensely by allowing students to concentrate on preparing only for their assigned exams. Additionally, students who are not scheduled to attend school can focus on their studies and assignments.
Even though the Bay has proposed Super Testing Days to be a solution to testing conflicts, these dates do not allow students and teachers to meet for classes. Therefore, teachers must ensure students are prepared for these exams prior to the testing date. Fourth quarter is the time when testing is taking place; compared to other quarters, it is known to be unproductive: it is difficult to accomplish tasks and learn new material due to students being taken out of class. Additionally, these assigned dates changed from before AP and AICE testing to during, causing more conflicts. With the number of students and number of advanced-level courses at the Bay, it is extremely difficult to ensure the needs of all students are met; the faculty and staff at the Bay has attempted to accommodate as many students as possible and are working towards decreasing the number of students affected by the exam testing schedule.