Tuesday, April 6 was ACT test day for 11th grade students at Gothenburg High School. That means it was Service Day for the rest of the high school and junior high kids.

The Service Day program is something Gothenburg Public Schools has been engaged in for several years. According to Jr/Sr High Principal Seth Ryker the state began mandating that all juniors in high school take the ACT test five years ago, and that is when the Service Day began. By moving all but testing students out of the building it allows for a quieter, less distracting environment for those taking their ACT tests.

Each year the faculty selects community “projects” for the students in grades 7-10, and seniors to work on. Of course that did not happen last year as school was not in-person due to Covid. The projects always include cleanup of public areas, such as parks and campgrounds. This year those sites included Lafayette Park, Blue Heron Campground and the school’s historical learning site, among others.

The project is a win-win; the community benefits from the cleaning and sprucing, and the students get to be out of class with their friends - and have only half a day of school.