Civics Tournament Preps for New Exam Requirement

Civics Tournament Preps for New Exam Requirement
Posted on 11/09/2018
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In a heated competition, HSWCHS students faced off in front of a packed gymnasium yesterday in the first ever HSSD Civics Tournament. Mrs. Meggan Moody organized the event as an engaging way to prepare 9th-12th grade students for a new graduation requirement to pass the Arkansas Civics Exam. Principal Taryn Echols presented questions to two student teams at a time, as an enthusiastic crowd of students and staff cheered on competitors. Teams that buzzed first with a correct answer received one point (much like a Quiz Bowl tournament), and the team with the most points won each round.  A team of four 11th graders (Tremain Young, Anthony Mitchell, Angel Youngs, and Sevannah Lawson) beat all other teams during a tie-breaker question. Championship winners - Tremain, Anthony, Angel, and Sevannah - receive tickets and school transportation to the Memphis Grizzlies game on Saturday. Teams that made it to the championship round receive a movie pass. All competitors receive a pizza party.

“This tournament was a fun way to make sure that our students are as prepared as possible for this exam. All students 9th-12th grade who have taken the required semester-long Civics class are taking the exam today and Monday. Test results are already showing a very high percentage of passing grades, which means our students were ready,” says Mrs. Moody. “As educators, the more that we can do to make learning fun and engaging for our students, the greater of an educational impact we have. We hope to make the Civics Tournament part of annual festivities at the district. Our students are having fun and competing with this, but are also learning the material very well.”

Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, Act 478 of 2017 requires all students seeking a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma pass the Arkansas Civics Exam with a score of 60% or higher.  Exam questions are taken directly from the Naturalization Test required of immigrants hoping to gain citizenship in the United States. See exam questions, here. In order to meet this requirement, Mrs. Moody worked with HSWCHS staff to make exam preparation fun for students. During seminar classes, students were divided by grade and participated in qualifying tournaments among other teams from their classes to determine finalists for the championship tournament. Qualifying tournaments took place from 10/25 to 11/6 to allow all students to participate. Finalists from all qualifying tournaments competed in the championship tournament on 11/8.

Learn more about the Arkansas Civics Exam from an Arkansas Department of Education memo, here. Learn more about our HSSD World Class High School, here.

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