Test Taking Tips for TIA Students

Spring is here, along with AzMERIT and AIMS testing. No need to panic! You got this! Test-taking can be stressful but if you follow these pointers, it should go smoothly for you.
  • Get to bed early the night before each test day
  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Don’t stress
  • Be on time
  • Don’t be absent

Test Taking Pointers

Read the directions as carefully as you read each question. Sometimes you will be asked for the statement that doesn't fit or the answer that is least likely. Only look for the right answer if that’s what the directions say to do. Read the questions before the paragraph. If you know what is being asked ahead of time it will help to focus your reading so that you can get the most important information the first time around. Read all of the answers before choosing one. That way you can eliminate the answers you know are wrong and have a smaller number of possible right answers to choose from. Look for the best answer, not the absolute right answer. Some achievement tests are testing your reasoning skills as well as your knowledge. That means that in some situations there are some answers that are better than others, but not one that is "the right" answer. Guess if you absolutely have to. Use common sense and make sure you've eliminated other possibilities first. It’s better to choose something than leave it completely blank when it’s time to turn in your test. Once you’re done: RELAX! Don't stress out over the test. You have given it your best effort and that's all you can do. Worrying about it doesn’t change anything. Smile and give yourself a mental hug. You are done and ready to move on with your day. What are AZMerit and AIMS testing for? AzMERIT is a test that measures students English language arts and math levels. AIMS measures science knowledge levels. Both tests are mandatory in the state of Arizona.

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New TIA Security Measures

Along with providing the best educational experience, Tucson International Academy is also committed to promoting a safe and secure learning environment.  Tucson International Academy is equipped with smoke detectors, audio/visual cameras, locked doors and gates during school hours, CPR certified staff and faculty, with lock down procedures and fire drills for every classroom and all other areas of our buildings. Additionally, faculty and staff or adult monitors have a cell phone or walkie-talkie with them while at lunch and/or on the playground with them at all times.

Why Does TIA Need Security Cameras?

Security cameras are inside the classrooms, offices, hallways, lunch areas, parking lots and around the school campus. This is for security reasons, to protect our staff, students and anyone on or around the campus in case of an emergency. Teachers and administrative staff can also use the video and audio recordings to evaluate teachers or themselves in any given situation and to see what is going on in the classroom and on the campus. We at TIA believe this will help stop things such as bullying or fighting, and people from doing and saying things they shouldn't such as stealing or cursing. If everyone knows they are being recorded, they will think twice before committing an offense that is prohibited. If bullying is reported, the school will have a recording of what was said and/or done. Bullying of any type will not be tolerated at TIA and will be grounds for disciplinary action, which can include suspension, expulsion and a possible report to law enforcement.

Why Does TIA Need Clear Backpacks?

Clear backpacks, not mesh or color clear, will help us know what is being carried on to TIA’s campuses by the students. Weapons of any kind are not allowed. Drugs and alcohol of any kind is not allowed.  Electronic devices are not allowed.  If there is a need for your child to bring a cell phone, such as the case that they walk to and from school or take public transportation, then cell phones must be turned off during school hours and turned into the teacher at the beginning of the school day. Failure to do so will result in the cell phone being confiscated and turned into the principal.  

As per the Student Parent Handbook, “Eliminate excess cargo in clear backpacks. Use only small, clear backpacks. Bring only school supplies, materials, and work. On a site by site basis, backpacks may be eliminated at any grade level. Grades 6 – 12 may bring small, clear backpacks, binders or folders which MUST be turned into a designated area (not kept with students in class). Small personal items may be kept in a small zip pocket of the folder/binder.“

Why Does TIA Have Fire Drills & Emergency Lockdown Drills?

Fire drills and Lockdown drills are held at regular intervals throughout the school year to help students stay safe by knowing what to do in an emergency.

General Information, Guidelines, Rules and Regulations, Rights and Policies

For further rules and regulations at TIA, please read the Parent and Student Handbook and the Code of Conduct for Parents and Visitors.

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What is the Future of Common Core?

And how will it affect TIA?

Did you know that  Boston Latin School, founded in 1635, is both America’s first public school and the oldest school still operational in the United States? Obviously, even before 1635, children had been taught. Whether in the home by their parents or away at a boarding school, education of our youth has been happening for a long time! One would think by now, in the year 2017, we would have a handle on this education thing! But even after almost 400 years, we are still trying to figure out the best way to educate America's kids. The recent debate regarding the Common Core curriculum can now be added to the discussion.

The Education Debate

Amid thousands of studies on how children learn, there is still a lot of debate about the best approach to education. What skills should every student have and at what age? Trying to agree on exactly what to teach, how and when to teach it, and then how to measure proficiency has complicated the debate exponentially. To find and agree upon standards which are consistent across the nation, while still accounting for cultural and geographical differences, is extremely challenging. Which adds another layer to the debate--should educational standards be addressed at the state or national level?

What is Common Core?

The Common Core curriculum is a set of math and English language arts standards that were developed in an effort to establish consistent educational standards across the states . Most states adopted Common Core standards in 2009. They were seeking consistent, measurable nationwide standards. The curriculum was launched in an effort to ensure all students, regardless of where they lived, graduated high school prepared for college, a career, and life. However, even with these admirable goals, many educators, parents and administrators have been unhappy with the resulting Common Core curriculum.

Will Common Core Survive?

So the debate continues. Eight states do not use common core at all or have adopted only portions of the curriculum. At present, Arizona is still operating under common core standards, but that could change.  Because Common Core is not a federally controlled program,  a new president and administration in Washington do not directly affect its future. However, with many educators and parents dissatisfied with the program, along with disappointing initial  statistics, Common Core may soon be a thing of the past.

How does all of this affect TIA?

For TIA students, there is great news! Dr. Jennifer Herrera states that if Common Core remains or another curriculum is adopted by the state of Arizona, TIA is ready! TIA can readily adapt to whatever state education standards are decided upon. TIA is a college prep school, so they teach to the goal of college readiness. Because of that, the teaching at TIA is designed to provide students proficiency toward the AZMerit tests and ultimately SAT tests needed for college entrance. Having already reached and maintained the goal of 100% of graduating seniors being accepted into college, TIA standards are already extremely high. Our numbers speak for themselves!

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