In an effort to increase student attendance for the High School Assessment tests (HSAs), during the week of May 23, the Blair administration will hand out three to four gift certificates each day for the Westfield Shopping Center, according to Susan Ragan, project director for Maryland Virtual High School.
On each day of test taking, students will be given a ticket on which they will be asked to write their ID number. The tickets will be collected from all classes and placed in a bin from which between three to four tickets will be drawn. The names will be announced at the end of each testing day. At the end of the week, tickets will be placed in a new bin, and one ticket will be drawn. The owner of that ticket will receive a laptop donated by Blair's Computer Give-Away Program.
In addition to these incentives, Ragan said that students will be given bottled water and a granola bar during test breaks. "It will make students feel better physically, and if you feel better physically, then your brains work better," said Ragan. She added that depending on the number of students taking the tests, the water and granola bars could cost anywhere between $1,300 and $1,400 for all five days of testing.
The administration hopes that these incentives will increase attendance since student absences count against the school's records. "One of the problems is some students have not come to take the test, and they count as failures," said Ragan.
Zahra Gordon. Zahra Gordon is 16-year old JUNIOR at Blair who is overwhelmingly proud of being from the Caribbean twin-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago (and she never fails to mention that). She has been living in Maryland for four years. If you're ever trying to find … More »