Nile C. Kinnick holds ‘Terra Nova’ appreciation breakfast

By Greg Mitchell, FLEACT, Yokosuka Public Affairs

Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka’s Nile C. Kinnick students were treated to a breakfast by the faculty and staff as a reward for the schools’ raised overall Terra Nova test scores, with a note to the junior class, last year’s sophomores, Sept. 18.

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Assistant Principal Cheryl Tibbs, right, and Arithmetic teacher Cheytoria Hickey, left, prepare breakfast burritos for students as a part of a Terra Nova appreciation breakfast held at Nile C. Kinnick High School, Sep. 18.

Terra Nova, third edition, tests and assessments promote student achievement and learning with a full range of research-based standardized achievement tests, reports, and services.

“Last spring, several students came to me because they had found out that Kinnick High School was not the highest scoring high school in Japan,” said Principal Emmalie Lee. “They wondered about why the test scores were low when the students were ‘smarter than average’.  Their hypothesis was that the students just did not take the Terra Nova tests seriously, so we did not know how smart they really were. After having the Kinnick brain bowl team beat out several of the adult teams here on base, they were very confident.”

Terra Nova is a series of standardized achievement tests used in the United States designed to assess K-12 student achievement in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, vocabulary, spelling, and other areas. The test series is published by CTB/McGraw-Hill. Terra Nova was created with an update in 1996 CTB to the California Achievement Tests and the California Tests of Basic Skills.

The breakfast came about due to the efforts made to recognize this tremendous achievement by serving them breakfast.

“At that time students and teachers brainstormed ideas on how to motivate everyone to do their best, said Lee. “I agreed to have a celebration if the scores went up significantly. When the scores came back at the end of the school year we found that the students were correct about the abilities of the students at Kinnick.”

Terra Nova tests are used by many Department of Defense Dependent Schools.

The state of California uses the test as part of the California Achievement Tests, 6th edition (CAT/6) statewide testing program known as STAR.

CAT series tests have been available before many US states began developing their own standards-based tests as part of an overall testing movement in the United States, which began in the early 2000s. CAT exams were also widely used outside of California to assess student achievement.

“When this school year began it was time to applaud and award the efforts,” said Lee. “Teachers came up with the idea of serving breakfast to everyone.”

Items served ranged from breakfast burritos of eggs and bacon to grits and French toast casserole. Culinary Arts teacher Charlotte Chandler’s culinary class worked alongside the teachers resulting in approximately 500 students being fed. The breakfast was then followed with a pep rally sponsored by the student council.

“I was so very pleased to see our entire Kinnick family celebrating the academic success of our students,” said Lee. “We now have good baseline data that we can study and use to drive instruction in the classrooms. I expect our scores to continue to rise.”

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