Month: June 2016

Signing off for now

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Thanks for reading our Current blog for this school year. We appreciate all your support and readership. As of today, we are signing off for the summer break. We’ll be back in the fall for the 2016-2017 school year! We are looking forward to bringing you the news then.

Secondly, congrats to the Lacrosse team for a wonderful season. Though you did not win the state finals on Saturday, the Rapids are proud of you.

Lastly, thank you to Keeshawn Capers for all his hard work as the Online Editor this year.

Get your summer reading books at the Little Library

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By: Karla Reyes, Staff Writer
This summer the James River library is offering a “Little Library” so students can get their summer reading books for free in order to meet their summer reading goals. You can get the books at the library and your aren’t required to return them, but you should give them to other people. The students who return the books have a chance to enter a raffle to win a Kindle. Go and get your books now at the library.

Journalism staff graduate

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The Current Magazine and blog staff would like to congratulate our graduating seniors. Graduation took place on Saturday, June 11th at 10 am in the Siegel Center of VCU. Included in the graduating class were: Maja Gabrielson, Editor-in-Chief; Kerri Adkins, News Editor; Kendall Johnson, Opinions Editor; and Senior Journalism Award recipient Sidney Davis, Design Editor. Congratulations and good luck in all your future endeavors!

Faculty retiring, saying goodbye

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By: Rylie Brumfield, Staff Writer
This year we are saying farewell to a few of our beloved faculty here at James River: Mr. Negaard, social studies teacher; Ms. Kucera, librarian; and Mrs. Schmitt, English teacher. We are also saying goodbye to our principal Mr. Ellick, who is moving on to a different job in the county. We wish the best to these people and thank them for contributing their time to teach us, the students, and hope they have a great summer.

Students take final exams

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By: Rylie Brumfield, Staff Writer

Final exams are here! Students only need to be in the building if taking a final exam. The exam schedule for the final exams of the year are posted here:

Monday, June 13:

7:20-7:25- announcements

7:25-9:10- first period exam

9:15-9:30- break

9:35-11:25- second period exam

 

Tuesday, June 14:

7:20-7:25- announcements

7:25-9:10- second period exam

9:15-9:30- break

9:35-11:25- third period exam

 

Wednesday, June 15:

7:20-7:25- announcements

7:25-9:10- third period exam

9:15-9:30- break

9:35-11:25- fourth period exam

 

Thursday, June 16:

7:20-7:25- announcements

7:25-9:25- fourth period exam

(make-up exams by arrangement with administrator only)

 

Friday, June 17:

9:25- dismissal

(make-up exams by arrangement with administrator only)
Good luck!

Boys lacrosse advances to state finals

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By: Eva Dorn, Online Editor 2016-2017
On Tuesday, June 6th the Rapids defeated the James Madison Warhawks. It was a hard fought game, and in the end it was an 11-10 win over the Warhawks. By winning this game, the Rapids qualify for state finals for the first time in school history. Come out and support our Rapids on Saturday, June 11th at 5 pm as they compete in their match at Lake Braddock High School in Burke, Virginia.

Opinion: Do standardized tests really help student achievement?

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By Henry Forbes, Staff Writer

With the testing season over, people are looking ahead to the summer and the events that will unfold in the coming school year. However, some students and teachers are expecting standardized tests to make a return in the future…whether they like it or not.

Standardized tests, which made exceptional headway in 2002 by George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program, have received mixed reactions in the past few years, with some saying it boosts student’s education while others saying it does nothing for them.

According to a peer-reviewed, 100-year analysis of testing research, 93 percent of studies on student testing, including the use of large-scale and high-stakes standardized tests, found a “positive effect” on student achievement, while 50-80 percent of year-over-year test score improvements were temporary and “caused by fluctuations that had nothing to do with long-term changes in learning…” according to a 2001 study published by the Brookings Institution.

Standards of Learning (or SOL tests) in particular are the most well-known standardized tests used in Virginia, and though some can say they are a decent form of student evaluation, how useful are these tests to the student body in the state?

John Morley, sophomore, believes that SOL tests have a positive effect on the student body, and that they can help with student achievement. Morley describes what it is like preparing for the SOL tests and what it feels like building up to test day.

“I take it kind of relaxed,” Morley said. “I’ve got all the knowledge in my brain. I feel like I have an idea as to what’s going to be on it.”

However, Morley does state what it is like when he sits down and finally takes the SOL tests, and how he feels when doing so.

“I would say stressful is definitely the word I use,” Morley said. “When you sit down to take the test I feel stressed.”

This is to be expected, as stress when taking these tests, primarily among young students, are so common that the Stanford-9 exam comes with instructions on what to do with a test booklet in case a student vomits on it, according to the Sacramento Bee. This shows that tests can cause much stress in students, which in turn prevents concentration and places more work on the student rather than enhance their abilities.

Also, Morley said that the SOL tests may not be an ideal source for learning new material, but rather as a summative assignment to assess the student’s current learning ability.

“I think I would learn more without them,” Morley said. “It’s just testing you with what you know already.”

Morley has a point, as the SOL tests are only meant to be a summary of what students learn for the entirety of the year. However, if this is only meant to be an evaluation of student achievement, then why is it people like Morley seem to learn little from it?
Standardized tests should enhance, not hinder, student achievement and academic ability. While it can be stated that these tests make sure people understand what they have learned throughout the course of the year, they should not instill so much stress in students, as well as to have the ability to better the knowledge of the student instead of holding them back from learning new material.