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Published: Thursday, 1/12/2006

District enlists volunteers to prepare TPS students

Toledo Public Schools kicked off its proficiency and achievement test awareness campaign yesterday with a call for volunteers to help tutor high school students in the social studies portion of the Ohio Graduation Test.

"We are focusing on social studies, and we are making a public call to the public to help prepare our students," Superintendent Eugene Sanders said.

Mr. Sanders said the district has one of Ohio's most comprehensive campaigns to help prepare students for the statewide exams scheduled in March.

School officials plan to go door-to-door and visit the home of every student who will take the five-section Ohio Graduation Test.

"We also really need every student to show up during the exam period," he said. "When a student does not show up, it is graded as a zero."

The test, which students took for the first time last March, replaced the ninth-grade test as the measure of proficiency in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. A student must pass all five sections before receiving a high school diploma.

The graduating class of 2007 is the first class that will be required to pass the test. Students who failed one or more portions will get six more tries by the end of their senior year.

"It's a much more difficult assessment than the proficiency test," said Craig Cotner, chief academic officer for Toledo Public Schools.

The district has mobilized the tutoring campaign for standardized testing for several years, but this the first time it's focused on the high school level.

Volunteers will be expected to attend one training session before being assigned a student to tutor once a week. All the tutoring would be during school hours at the high school where the students attend.

Training for volunteer tutors will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and at noon Jan. 19 in the school district's administration building, 420 East Manhattan Blvd.

The Ohio Graduation Test will be administered March 13 through March 17 for sophomores and juniors. Makeup exams will be administered March 20 through March 24.

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