No Pressure

Juniors took the ACT, sophomores took the PreACT, everyone else had AI Day

UNNECESSARY ATTENDANCE The ACT is a national standardized academic achievement test the state requires juniors to take. The PreACT is taken the year before to prepare students for the ACT. While sophomores took the PreACT and juniors took the ACT, freshman and seniors got an AI Day. “It’s honestly pretty good, just because a lot of the teachers, who I have personally, end up proctoring,” senior Chloe Ott said. “So it would be a lot of subs and I wouldn’t learn anything because they wouldn’t make lesson plans. Typically, they don’t make lesson plans for the day they proctor. I remember a couple years ago where I was just like, ‘are we just gonna sit here’ ‘yeah, you just sit here’ and that was every single class. So, making it so you don’t actually have to actually come in is a great way of handling it.”

Juniors took the ACT and sophomores took the PreACT on Tuesday, March 22. For freshmen and seniors, this was an Academic Intervention Day.
“Academic Intervention Days or ‘AI’ Days are designed for students who do not have all of their schoolwork completed to come to school and work with teachers to get them done,” principal Mr. Todd Mueller said. “Students who have all their schoolwork completed get the day off from school.”
Juniors took the ACT from 8 a.m. until about 12:30 p.m. According to Mr. Mueller, the ACT is a national standardized academic achievement test the Nebraska Department of Education requires all Nebraska juniors to take.
“The ACT, from what I know, is a test based on how you can take a test under pressure,” senior Hailey Simpson said. “You can’t really study for it, you can prepare for it, but you can’t really study for it. You can get scholarship opportunities, you can get full rides. It’s a great way to see how you are test wise.”
Sophomores took the PreACT from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The PreACT is a national standardized academic achievement test the state requires all Nebraska sophomores to take.
“PreACT is, number one, they use it as their standardized testing to make sure everyone’s on the same level,” senior Chloe Ott said. “Number two, it’s just preparing you for the ACT, which is nice because if you go into the ACT not knowing what to expect it can be very stressful and confusing for a first time person. So, having less stress that first time knowing it’s just the PreACT, no one in their future’s going to look at this and be like, oh my God that’s terrible. It’s very nice to just be able to do it.”
AI Days are appreciated by many students. Students who have their work done enjoy getting a day off from school.
“I like it a lot because if two whole grades are testing then there’s no real point in the other grades being there because most teachers will be proctoring the test and there will be a lot of subs,” Simpson said. “I will be in bed either sleeping or playing animal crossing.”
AI Days are not only liked by students who do not have to come to school. Students with missing work also see their value.
“They’re really done for kids who can’t come in after school and are missing a lot of work,” Ott said. “I know when COVID started, I missed school for six weeks and I couldn’t do any of my schoolwork. And of course, when you come back it’s very stressful to be like, oh I have six weeks of work to catch up on, and also, I have to pay attention to the new stuff we’re learning. So, the ability to have everyone gone for a day, so no one’s being taught anything, so I don’t have to learn anything new that day, and having time to sit in the math class and learn all the math I missed. It’s very nice to be able to do that and it helps a lot of kids.”
The AI Day motivated several students to get their work done. One week prior 675 students owed 2976 assignments. At the start of the day, 295 students had 1842 missing assignments. By the end of the day, 153 students owed 1114 assignments. An added perk of the day was the opportunity to eat crispitos at lunch.