Arizona students are required to pass Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards test once they get to high school as part of the graduation requirement.
However, Larry Schmiegel, assistant principal at Kingman Middle School, is striving to give 768 sixth- through eighth-graders in his school a head start through AIMS prep classes. "I came here from New York, and one thing I've always wanted to do is be proactive as far as testing," he said.
AIMS prep classes of 30 minutes each have been organized for every student. It was made possible by revising the bell schedule and cutting down passing time between classes from five minutes to three, Schmiegel said.
Two weeks of instruction in language arts will be completed today. All teachers are participating, with each doing classes of about 21 students.
Teachers not trained in language arts received three days of training from those certified in it to prepare them.
On Wednesday, teachers certified in math began three days of training non-math teachers for the second half of the four-week prep classes. Math prep classes will be conducted in the two weeks following spring break, which is March 17-21.
"During language arts training, those teachers went over lesson plans and strategies for implementing them," Schmiegel said. "Math prep starts this Wednesday, so non-math teachers will get a refresher."
Much of the instruction is a review of concepts and skills taught in regular education classrooms.
Fliers also are to be sent home this week telling parents of a prep rally from 2:20 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. April 4 at KMS.
"We want parents to come in, follow their student that day, and have lunch with them," Schmiegel said. "During the prep rally we'll have band, chorus and cheerleaders performing."
Parents will be asked to RSVP so it can be gauged how much food will be needed April 4.
AIMS testing starts April 7.