While juniors took the ACT, the rest of the students made college visits or listened to presentations
When juniors are taking the ACT, it limits what the other students can do. No class bells can be rung and classroom and hallway noise is also kept to a minimum so students can concentrate.
Classroom space is also changed because all the students taking the ACT have to be in the same area of the school.
Freshmen took a field trip to local colleges campuses. Bradley Central High School students visited Lee University, Chattanooga State Community College and Tennessee Technology Center. Walker Valley High School students visited Lee University and Chattanooga State Community College.
Sophomores and seniors stayed behind to attend presentations.
“We typically (in the past) keep them in one place. It’s very difficult for one teacher to have the students for three hours,” said BCS Career and Technical Education director Arlette Robinson.
Through a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, local industry and business leaders were called to present information in panel format.
“The Chamber had two programs they used in the schools in the past — business and industry in the classroom and ethics in the workplace,” Robinson said.” It’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to get into the classroom because of ... end of course testing. We are trying to figure out a way all the students can hear the business and industry panels.”
The panel of industrial leaders gave advice and pointers on looking professional and interviewing skills. Having a good attitude and being on time were some of the key attributes highlighted.
Seniors at BCHS heard a presentation by Mike Hayes about life after high school. Seniors at WVHS heard a presentation by Phil Cook on the same topic. Both groups of seniors also heard presentations about interview skills.
Many elements of the college-focused day were the result of two months of work.
Robinson said she worked with school counselors at both schools.
Last year, WVHS counselors had planned alternative activities for the other students while the juniors took the ACT. This was the first year the approach was taken at both high schools.
“We want all students to be ready for college and career,” Robinson said.
Good choices and preparing for the future were at the heart of the presentations, Robinson said. She said she hopes the students have parents who are encouraging these things and teaching their students the necessary skills.
For Robinson, the event was seen as a way for the school system to come alongside parents to help students be ready for life after high school.