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Schools, students ready for CRCT
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After months of preparation, students will be taking the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) beginning Monday.

Leslie Dickerson, lead teacher at Marlow Elementary, said first and second graders will be testing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday while third, fourth and fifth graders will be testing all week.

Betty Jean Ferguson, curriculum coordinator at Effingham County Middle School, said middle school students will be tested each day next week.

“Probably the best preparation would be to make sure the children get plenty of rest in the evening,” Dickerson said.

“Plan some fun relaxing activities to relieve stress, but do make sure they get plenty of rest. Have them here each day of the testing. If there are any doctor’s appointments or dentist appointments, try to schedule that after lunch or move it to another week. Whenever they’re absent, it is difficult for them to make up.”

Dickerson said the school and parents have been working together to prepare students.

“Make it as stress free as possible that week,” she said.

She said teachers will not be giving homework during testing.

“Scheduling will be different,” Dickerson said. “They are going to be testing in the morning for about two and a half hours.

Dickerson said parents can talk to their children and tell them that the schedule is going to be different. Parents can talk to the children to explain the environment is being changed to help them do their very best.

“Some kids get very upset when their schedule is moved around,” she said. “The classroom is going to look different because all instructional aids have to be covered. The desks may be moved.”

Also, parents should do their utmost to get their children to school every day and on time.

“Of course, if they are sick we want the parents to keep them home,” Dickerson said.

Ferguson stressed the importance of students coming to school with a positive attitude, and that parents can help with this by encouraging their children.

“Make sure that their child maintains a regular schedule. It’s important that they are well rested and well fed, and come to school with a positive attitude,” Ferguson said. “It is going to be five days of testing — that’s a lot.

“I wish I had a magic bullet,” Ferguson said.

The testing for grades three through eight includes reading, language arts, math, science and social studies. First and second graders are tested on math, reading and language arts.

Ferguson said at this point all the preparation is completed, and now it is encouraging students to do their best.