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November 20, 2014 Issue

Students can test out of courses
JCHS presents Selfie

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Students can test out of courses

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A new way of earning class credit is in its second year in Jefferson County.

Students interested in taking an End-of-Course Test (EOCT) should start thinking about the option while in middle school and, if the student earns at least 90 percent, can opt out of taking the course.


Information from the state’s department of education states middle school students can participate in the testing-out option for high school courses if these classes are taught in middle school. There is not a grade or age limit.

The EOCT was adopted by the state in April 2013 and became available in August 2013.

Dr. Donnie Hodges, an assistant superintendent with Jefferson County Board of Education, said students may have to pay the $50 charged by the state for each test they take.

“Students who take a test and pass at the 90 percent level will be reimbursed,” Hodges said.

The test-out option is available in up to eight subjects, area coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, English 9, English 11, US History, economics, biology and physical science.

“It’s set up so that students can take up to three end-of-course tests. They can test out of no more than three courses by taking and passing the test at a 90 percent level,” Hodges said. “We do ask for a teacher recommendation. That’s reviewed by a counselor. We want every student who is ready to take one of these tests to do so; but, we do want to make certain the students are ready.

“Even in eighth grade, you need to start thinking about this because some of these courses are ninth grade.”

Hodges said a recommendation from a teacher and from a counselor are required.

“Even though you might be a good student, you still have to understand the scope of the test,” she said.

These tests are available only on certain dates during the year. The state’s website,www.gadoe.org, states there are three main administrations of the EOCT, winter, spring and summer.

Matt Cardoza, communications director with the Georgia Department of Education, said the Georgia Milestones EOC winter administration will extend from Dec. 1 through Jan. 9.

The Georgia Milestones EOC midmonth tests and EOC retests will be offered from Jan. 20 through Jan. 30, Feb. 9 through Feb. 20 and from March 2 through March 13, Cardoza said.

The Georgia Milestones EOC spring administration will extend from April 27 through June 5.

The Georgia Milestones EOC summer administration and summer retests administration will extend from June 15 through July 17.

There are also online, midmonth administrations offered several times throughout the year.

“It’s a very new concept. I think what they’re looking at is to let students move on when ready,” Hodges said. “This is something that might not interest many students; but, it is an option that we want them to have. You can do three courses. This will be the second year that we’ve been able to offer this.”

Hodges said this is the reason a teacher’s and a counselor’s recommendations are required.

“These are the types of questions a counselor will discuss with the student. If you do this, how is it going to help you? Are there other things you want to take (in high school) or go on to college early?” Hodges said. “This is another great opportunity for students who are ready.”

So far, two students have taken an EOCT.

“And they passed,” Hodges said.

JCHS presents Selfie

By Tyler Copeland

Whether from the 1800s, 1900s to now, the formative years for teenagers are always filled with them trying to find themselves, learn who they are and what they are about. The One Act Play Team at Jefferson County High School took on a production, Selfie, which deals with just that in the digital age, one of of instant gratification through cameras and computers.

Selfie is a portrayal of the life and difficulties of high school students. It’s senior year and problems are mounting for a group of high school students as they prepare for the future. Facing bullies, parents, pressure, sickness and their own self-judgment, the characters search for ways to stand out. As they document their year, one click at a time, they come to realize life is not about what other people see, it’s about how they picture themselves.


The team will perform Selfie in the high school auditorium on Nov. 20, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will cost $7.

Earlier this year the team won the Region 3AA One Act Championship, with Bradley Read winning Best Actor in the Region and Maria Tinsman and Allison Sasser winning the Region All Star Cast Award.

The team went on to compete for the State Championship on Nov. 1 at North Side High in Warner Robins. They did exceedingly well against the best teams in the state. The judges rated the team’s performance as Excellent; and, Jarrett Ledger won the State All Star Cast Award.

The production was also screened by the International Thespian Honor Society and is awaiting final determination on whether the team will be presenters at the 2015 Georgia Thespian Conference in February at Columbus State University.

“It’s been a long hard road,” drama teacher and One Act Play Supervisor Shawna Pastor-Price.

The seniors worked four years and there was a lot of sacrifice and dedication in that time. Cast members have dedicated their weekends to bake sales and car washes to raise funds that go towards costume, travel costs, sets and any other items the One Act Team might need.

This is the second region title that Pastor-Price has captured while at JCHS.

“This accomplishment is not merely about producing a play, it is about working endless hours to raise funds, to support not only this year’s team, but next year’s team and production,” Pastor-Price said.

Her daughter, Harmony, was directed Selfie. Most of the team went through a process of elimination in coming to the choice of plays. This one was picked because of its message, after countless other plays had been considered.

“It’s a little bit of everything when it comes to the emotion of the play,” Harmony Pastor-Price said. “There are a couple of gut wrenching moments and a few hysterical moments. Each character has their own message.”

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