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Students sent to boot camp

Innovative program helps prepare for tests.

Posted: March 27, 2008 9:43 p.m.
Updated: May 29, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Guest speaker Andre Farr discusses diversity with Sierra Vista Junior High students during Benchmark Boot Camp on Thursday.

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Students at Sierra Vista Junior High started off Thursday with "Reveille," the traditional military bugle call, as teachers dressed in battle fatigues prepared them for the upcoming state benchmark tests.

The Benchmark Boot Camp is one of the innovative programs the Canyon Country school uses to help at-risk students improve their test scores.

"The faculty sits down with benchmark data, and we decide which kids really got the standards and which kids need more help," said Julie Huffman, intervention coordinator at Sierra Vista.

Students whose test scores were proficient participate in enrichment programs like chalk painting or a drum circle, while students who need extra help are enrolled in the boot camp for either science, history, math or English.

The boot camp provides high energy, hands-on activities designed to fill in any information the students may have missed the first time around, Huffman said.

"The kids in the math boot camp were playing all kinds of crazy math games, but the questions all reflect material that we determined they missed on that particular benchmark," she said.

State benchmark exams begin April 24 at Sierra Vista. Students seem to enjoy the boot camp and the faculty feels it is effective in preparing students for the exams, Huffman said.

"We won't know what the results are until after test scores are posted in the spring, but it's an example of our faculty doing everything they can to make sure our students are proficient on their STAR testing," she said.

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