Monday, March 17, 2003

Still Monday...

Your Catholic school tuition dollars at work:

Worried about your school's test scores? Think there might be room for improvement?

How about a little aromatherapy for the kids?

Prayers are said to soothe the soul, but local Catholic school officials are looking at other ways to ease students' anxiety when taking a test.

Brain-based learning methods from motivational speaker Bruce Boguski could have students lighting a peppermint-scented candle while studying or rubbing the edge of their ear while taking a test - two ways of boosting the memory, Boguski said.

"With (Boguski's) methods, we hope that it increases our ISTEP+ scores," said Jo Ann Roscoe, associate superintendent for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Though private and parochial school students traditionally score higher than state averages on the ISTEP exam, school officials say there is still room for improvement. Even if that means looking at alternative ways to make sure students are relaxed and focused when taking the test.

Boguski presented stress-reducing tactics to diocese teachers and staff Friday.

He said specific techniques trigger brain responses that can cause a person to relax, focus and study better. For example, he said cinnamon, lemon and peppermint smells help in memory retention. While students are studying, they should light a peppermint candle or, while taking the test, they might suck on a peppermint candy, which Boguski said will help them remember what they studied.

With thanks to Nancy Nall, whose new car I covet.

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