Forget about easing back into school after a lazy Thanksgiving break. The End Of Course testing schedule is out, and it’s about as student-friendly as leftover cranberry sauce.


HHS freshmen with English this semester will have to take the writing portion of the high-stakes test on Monday (Nov. 26), the same morning they return from a five-day break.


Things aren’t much better for English II and U.S. history students. They take the writing portion that first week back as well, with English II testing Tuesday (Nov. 27) and U.S. history Thursday (Nov. 29), according to the schedule released to teachers this week.


The second part of those tests, the multiple-choice part, will be the following week, the week of Dec. 3. Math students test the week of Dec. 10.


Teachers are particularly anxious about that Nov. 26 test date, when students are sure to be in a Thanksgiving funk after the long stretch off.


"Testing immediately after a holiday definitely makes motivating students a challenge,” said English teacher Andrew Martin. “After a break, students are tired and have to adjust back to the school schedule which is far from ideal for such an important test.”


Martin also worries about students who are traveling for the holiday.


“There are probably students who will miss the first test or be exhausted from traveling all day before, which only adds to the difficulty and stress of testing," he said.


English Department Chair Carmen Watts said students will be ready to test as soon as they return from break “because we have all been getting them prepared” to test.


But she also said the schedule could be more favorable.


“I just think that sometimes once they have had a break and then come right in that first day and get hit with testing, it’s a little much,” Watts said. “I almost feel like we need to ease back into coming to school.”


Story by Brinson Martin, Sloane Wright and Kyra Hodge


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