When ASU Prep Digital, a virtual school, was faced with hosting an in-person testing season during the Covid-19 Pandemic, they were faced with many challenges and roadblocks. However, ASU Prep Digital took advantage of seeing students, families, and teachers face-to-face and made the very best of the situation. Students described the testing experience as enjoyable, fun, organized, and empowering. How could this be?
Students and parents/guardians were encouraged to participate in AzM2 on Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus. The test was held at the school’s Memorial Union in socially distanced and sanitized classrooms and ballrooms. Before entering the Memorial Union building, all family members were temperature checked, given an ASUPD testing sticker, provided with a map of the building and a chance to participate in a Scavenger Hunt at ASU.
Students and families made a mini vacation out of testing week and some stayed in nearby hotels to attend the testing. When not testing, families were exploring local attractions, such as the Phoenix Zoo, hiking local mountains, and dining and shopping at the Tempe Marketplace and Arizona Mills. While on campus, Elementary Program Manager, Dani Salamanca and 5th Grade Teacher, Kate Griner were instrumental in planning an interactive Scavenger Hunt for students to explore landmarks on campus. Our ASU Prep Digital students, parents and staff members could be easily identified by the testing sticker. The students and families enjoyed meeting each other and making new friendships throughout the testing experience and there was no sweeter moment than when a lucky student got to meet his or her teacher, principal, director, LSC, or other well-known staff member in person.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Brian Koster, Middle School Principal and Testing Coordinator, Mr. Michael Kasper, Director of Academics Grades 9-12, Mrs. Jeni McClue, Academic Coach and Student Data Analyst. They devoted many months to preparing for this testing experience. The teachers, staff, administrators, and ASU student teachers and interns made the dream come to life and we would like to extend a special thank you to our parents, guardians, family members, and ASU Prep adults for bringing and supporting our Sun Devil testers.