Santa may drive his usual sleigh this December, but the students at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School rode a different vehicle last Monday -- a train.The…
Santa may drive his usual sleigh this December, but the students at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School rode a different vehicle last Monday — a train.
The 180 freshman students at the Munson Township school participated in a train ride-themed event called “The Polar Express to Academic Success,” an academic preparation program.
The two-hour program supports NDCL freshmen as they prepare for their first experience of semester exams in high school, said NDCL spokeswoman Kara Simone.
Although it was designed to be voluntary in an after-school setting, the entire freshman class signed up, she said.
Eight groups participated in the train ride-themed event.
Students attended four 20-minute sessions, which were “whistle stops” that included time management/calendar planning, test preparation and test-taking skills.
Prior to attending their first session — with The Polar Express movie in the background — the students received refreshments, relaxation techniques and were sent off with a prayer,?Simone said.
Additionally, students received content help in various subjects, said Assistant Principal Denice Teeples.
Each student who completed the program earned a special certificate good for a 5 percent bonus on one exam of his or her choice, redeemable at the time of the exam.
“If a student earns an 82 percent on the exam (either an essay or multiple-choice test) and then applies the 5 percent bonus, he or she would then earn an 87 percent,” Teeples said.
While the bonus was only good for one exam, the skills learned through the entire Polar Express experience should boost performance on every exam a student takes, she added.
NDCL, located on Auburn Road, serves students from grades nine through 12.
Teeples said a group of underclassmen known as the Link Crew brainstormed the event. The group helps freshmen transition from middle school to high school.
Administration liked the idea and it evolved into a very large event that practically the entire freshmen class participated in, Teeples said.
Sixteen teachers and administrators got on board with the concept, she added.
“This is geared toward helping the freshmen prepare for final exams,” the principal said. “Coming from middle school, many have never had to juggle eight classes, each ending with a large exam that counts as 20 percent of their semester grade.”
The Polar Express to Academic Success is designed to provide calendar planning, study skills, test taking strategies and content review well in advance of exams.
A main objective of this event is to get across the point that procrastination does not work as well as deliberate planning and study, Teeples said.
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