The teachers in the Fremont High School social sciences department are doing everything they can to help their students prepare for the upcoming citizenship test.
Patrick Beyer, a social sciences teacher at FHS, said the Nebraska Department of Education provided each school with three options to meet the citizenship requirements this year: students could take a test, attend a civic meeting, or deliver a civic presentation.
Beyer said taking the citizenship test is the option that FHS has chosen and that the juniors will start doing so in their American Government classes at the end of each quarter.
“As a department, we believed the best option for the school would be to take a test,” Beyer said. “We would be able to administer it, collect data that would be used to improve students’ performance and keep records for future use. The other options may be more difficult to do this.”
Upon making that decision, Beyer said the teachers in the social sciences department at FHS started preparing their students for the test at the beginning of the first quarter.
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“As social studies teachers we decided it would be best to start preparing our students right away,” Beyer said. “There are 100 questions on the mandated test and we want our students to be as prepared as possible for when they take it.”
Many states surrounding Nebraska have recently made the citizenship test a requirement for their high school students, so Beyer said the social sciences teachers at FHS started making plans to add test prep questions into their weekly lesson plans during their Professional Learning Community time last spring.
“We talked about how we could best divide the questions up so the students could hear them from different people,” Beyer said. “In my classes, we talk about most of the information so I’m able to go in-depth in order to meet the questions.”
Beyer went on to say that the social sciences teachers at FHS will continue to prepare their students for the citizenship test all year long.
“We read about 10-15 (questions) per week and then repeat the process each week for eight weeks,” Beyer said. “Then, we start again. Each teacher starts at a different spot so the students are asked different questions in different classes.”