Schools fire up to MEAPPublished 10:12pm Monday, October 8, 2012
Students got ready for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program Monday by listening to some of Dowagiac’s sports coaches, who encouraged them to put forth their best effort and have confidence when taking the tests.
The MEAP tests students on different areas of academics, ranking districts into state percentiles. Dowagiac Middle School and Patrick Hamilton Elementary School prepared to begin MEAP testing with visits from former high school football coach Bernard Thomas and current varsity basketball coach Danum Hunt, with three players, to get students fired up and ready to tackle the next few days.
“There are so many things determined by this test,” Thomas said. “It determines money to the community and district, opportunities to students like scholarships and higher education … it’s a big factor.”
Thomas led the 1990 Dowagiac Chieftains football team to a state championship and taught and coached in Dowagiac for 25 years. He gave a motivational speech Monday morning.
“I see the MEAP as a monster in a cave who needs to be either fed or tamed,” Thomas said. “I’m going to give you some weapons to tame the monster.”
Thomas highlighted “the four D’s,” which included determination, dedication, desire and discipline, attributes he said all students should use with the MEAP, as well as future academics.
Hunt, who had the help of DUHS basketball players Tyler Collins, sophomore; Tyler Clark, senior; and Kyle Solloway, junior; helped third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students understand the meaning of “100 percent maximum effort.”
“I use acronyms, like ‘high tempo,’” Hunt said. “T for tenacity, E for effort, M for mental attitude, P for positivity and O for out-do.”
Hunt said the concept of the assembly was to put basketball and the MEAP together, making the skills coincide with putting forth effort in everything the students approach.
“I talk a lot of about putting in 100 percent maximum effort on the court and in the classroom,” Hunt said. “They tie in together.”
Thomas said, while the students are taking the tests, teachers, administrators and parents are also responsible for success.
“You have to do what you have to do so your kids get a share of the pie,” Thomas said.
MEAP testing lasts throughout this week in Dowagiac schools.