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Posted March 31, 2017

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Ready, Set, Test!

In her weekly message, Superintendent Reedy talks about state-mandated testing that begins in April.

A few years ago, I was at S.R. Marmon Elementary School on the first day of testing, and what I saw really stayed with me. The halls were lined with kindergarteners, first and second graders as well as staff and parents who were cheering on the older students as they walked the “red carpet” (actually red paper) on their way to class. The third, fourth and fifth graders were being treated like celebrities, and they were eating it up – smiling, waving, some even wore sunglasses.

I love that approach to testing. Whether it’s walking the red carpet, coming together for a PARCC pancake breakfast like they’re doing at Grant Middle School, hosting spirit assemblies and test prep celebrations as so many of our schools do, or simply offering support and advice, our teachers and staff are great about helping ease anxiety during testing season.

Regardless of how you feel about state-mandated tests, we want our students to do well. And pats on the back, words of encouragement, tips for success go a long way.

So thank you. Thanks for reminding students at all levels to get a good night’s sleep – something they should do all the time, but especially during the next few weeks.

Thanks for reminding them to eat a good breakfast that includes protein – or for sending them to the cafeteria where they can get a healthy meal if they can’t at home. Another good habit for the whole school year, but one that will go a long way as students tackle challenging test questions.

Thanks for the advice you provide test takers – don’t rush, read questions carefully, answer all questions, make your best guess when you don’t know.

Thanks for helping remind students with test anxiety to take deep breaths and trust in themselves.

Thanks for rearranging schedules to be as accommodating as possible for students, even when it's not as convenient for staff.

Special thanks to our APS assessment team which is part of the Office of Accountability and Reporting. It takes a lot of work to administer these tests to tens of thousands of students each year, and we appreciate all the support they provide to our students, schools and staff.

 Ready, set, test!

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