By Breonia Lee, News Editor

After months of anticipation, preparation for testing was widely stressed this year. It was important that sophomores ready themselves for HSAP, the High School Assessment Program, testing. Scores of this test determine whether they get their high school diplomas, so it’s important that sophomores readied themselves to pass this test.

A week before the school year started, teachers and staff attended a meeting held by Mr. Alvin Pressley, Principal, to set a passing rate goal for HSAP testing. Teachers and staff have made sure they prepared the sophomore class to achieve a goal of a 90% passing rate overall; which is also the same percentage rate they want for both math and English. The goal of this was to raise the expected passage rate of the scores higher than last year’s scores.

2013 Sophomores 2014 Goal
English 88.9% 90%
Math 74.20% 90%
Overall Passing Rate 71.60% 90%


With this goal in mind, teachers in both the English and Math departments made it essential to equip their current sophomores with many test taking strategies. To make sure students knew how vital this was, teachers held the HSAP Blitz to prepare students. This afterschool program introduced students to material that would be on the test.

HSAP Blitz was open to test takers in all grade levels who wanted to come freely. The goal was to ready students for this test despite their grade level.

“It is open to all tenth graders, but if someone didn’t pass, they’re welcome to come,” Mr. Dameon Franklin, Reading and Writing Strategies Teacher, said.

Even though it was particularly stressed to keep the sophomores on the right track to pass this test, Keenan’s teachers and staff also readied upperclassmen as well.

“We do offer classes at W. J. Keenan that help…juniors and seniors with the particular weaknesses in English, math, and writing that have caused them to be unsuccessful thus far,” Mrs. Cynthia Simpson-Obioha, Guidance Director, said.

These strategies have helped Keenan in the past when dealing with HSAP testing. Due to this, these same strategies can be used for the new test being introduced to next year’s sophomores. The new exit exam is a more enhanced test, said Mrs. Veronica Scott, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction.

“They were looking to challenge students at their current grade level. They are putting more rigor[ous material] and bringing up content on their grade level,” Scott said.

With this in mind, this could be a more successful and efficient test for students to take. In spite of concerns raised from students, Keenan’s staff and teachers will be sure to have students prepared as always. The same anticipation will fill next year’s test takers as they take on the new exit exam.