With the eager hands of a child scouring the family mailbox for an expected prize, Richmond County schools kept checking Friday for their college entrance exam scores.
Disappointment met each search, again.
But like a child's vow to come back later, school leaders set their sights Tuesday - when, maybe, the much-anticipated reports of how each school's students did on the Scholastic Assessment Test might arrive.
"I'm expecting them next week," Superintendent Charles Larke said Friday. "When we get back from the Labor Day break, I hope they'll be there."
Richmond County schools will be closed Monday, as will the schools in Columbia and Aiken counties. But while the other two systems already know their students' SAT results, Richmond County still waits to see if it met its goal of a 5 percent increase in test scores.
Most of the nation's schools got SAT results Tuesday, although more school systems than usual are missing scores this year.
"I guess we are a bit anxious to find out if we made our goal," said Horace Lamback, principal at A.R. Johnson Health, Science and Engineering High School.
A.R. Johnson, at least, doesn't have as much to sweat about as other high schools, as it usually increases its average SAT score each year. Mr. Lamback expects another increase this year as well.
Dr. Larke has promised bonuses for any of the nine Augusta high schools that raises its average score by 5 percent. Each school could earn as much as $1,000 extra if it increases both its math and verbal scores by that amount. Schools may use the bonus money to buy instructional supplies.
But first they have to know how they did.
"I'm really nervous about this thing," Dr. Larke said. "I know we can't expect a 12-point gain ... but we can't ask for a 5 percent gain and then have a loss."