Method Test Prep Spotlight seeks to highlight MTP clients, friends, and acquaintances who are doing amazing things in education. For each installment of the Spotlight, we will select a dedicated individual or organization to profile, and will then interview the awardee to share their story. Through the Spotlight, we hope to develop a bank of successful experiences and practices for other schools and educators to learn from.
The first Method Test Prep Spotlight Award introduces us to Principal Steve Lodes of Greendale High School in Greendale, Wisconsin. One year ago, Mr. Lodes learned of Method Test Prep’s Online ACT Prep Program as an add-on option within his students’ Xello/Career Cruising accounts. Lodes and other school officials decided to use the program in Greendale High School’s English department. Lodes’s English teachers felt that the reading passages provided valuable materials that could supplement their existing curriculum.
Noting the quick adoption of the program and its ease of use, Lodes's team felt the program would provide a good means of bolstering the curriculum of the school's ACT Prep class. With the help of MTP Account Executive Kyle Henriksen, they worked to design a comprehensive ACT prep curriculum. With this in hand, Lodes was able to convince his district’s Board of Education to designate the online prep class as a “for credit” option in Greendale’s student handbook.
To spread the word about the class, Greendale’s faculty provided personalized paper invitations to all juniors and seniors, emailed all juniors, and published an article about the class in the school newspaper. The response was overwhelming: almost half of all Greendale’s juniors signed up for the half-credit pass/fail class.
As we all realize, identifying motivated participants and raising awareness is only part of the battle. Having a strong, organized plan for implementation and continuous follow-up is the key to long-term success. Lodes’s team took the existing curriculum and spliced in tasks from the MTP Checklist to design a full syllabus for students and teachers; the team also sends "This Week" follow-up emails to remind class members of important deadlines. You can download a sample copy of the syllabus; we've also placed the sample syllabus in the "Resource Materials" section of our program under the "Lesson Plans" tab.
The diligence of Greendale's educators has led to outstanding usage of the online program through the ACT prep class. Initial feedback from students has been positive, and Greendale’s team of educators is working methodically to collect more information via class surveys. About 40 students participated in the course, collectively answering more than 77,000 questions within the MTP program. These are some of the highest-engagement numbers we've encountered. Congratulations to Mr. Lodes and his team at Greendale on their stellar work in motivating students to complete prep that will benefit them in many ways!
More About Steve Lodes
Q: Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Searching out new food, listening to vinyl (Velvet Underground got a specific mention) and camping, enjoying the outdoors.
Q: Is there a part of your job that you find particularly rewarding?
A: Because of the size of the village we live in and the central role the school plays in the community, I get a good snapshot of where most students start the process and where they are when they graduate. Watching students cross the stage at graduation is always extremely rewarding.
Thanks again to Mr. Lodes and everyone at Greendale for being a shining example of great things happening in education.
If you would like to nominate an individual or organization working with MTP to be considered for a Spotlight Award, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Spotlight. Please also share this story with people in education as well as with parents and other interested parties!
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