If Bulloch County students are as excited after taking an annual standardized test as they are while gearing up for it, local schools should receive scores to be proud of.
This week, students in multiple area schools are preparing for the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), which begins next week, by taking part in pep rallies to build excitement for the upcoming challenge.
Elementary and middle school students are packing into gyms, listening to guest speakers and making noise in anticipation of the multi-day test to measure their knowledge in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
The events are hosted, according to school administrators, in an effort to build confidence among students and motivate them to perform their best throughout five days of testing.
“We always hope for improvement and good scores on tests,” said Jennifer Quick, principal at Mattie Lively Elementary School. “We would like to think that these motivational events can give some encouragement and prompt better scores.”
“Some students get really stressed when it is test time,” she said. “So, we like to do something to be encouraging and motivate them to do their best.”
At Mattie Lively, students will gather in the school gym Friday for a 30-minute presentation that incorporates several fun activities for the soon-to-be test-takers, Quick said.
“We will have some teachers dressed as cheerleaders and will have a group of fifth graders perform a dance called the CRCT Walk, that they saw on the internet,” she said. “We also have some chants and cheers planned.”
Throughout the week, children have designed and displayed motivational posters for fellow students as well.
“(The activities) really motivate them,” Quick said. “We want to provide a positive, motivational time for students to cheer each other on and get pumped up for the upcoming test.”
Students at Langston Chapel Middle School have already enjoyed their big day.
Tuesday, kids were presented with an opportunity to meet a local star who passed his own CRCT tests here in Statesboro.
Justin Houston, a former football standout at Statesboro High School, who has since played for the University of Georgia and, now, the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs, served as a guest speaker during the school’s rally, said Hayley Greene, Public Relations Specialist for the Bulloch County Board of Education.
But, the party is over for students beginning Tuesday.
CRCT testing is scheduled to start April 17 for third to fifth grade and middle school students.
Testing will continue, with days off for breaks, until Friday, April 27, Greene said.
Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.