Originally created 04/24/04

Principal leads children on final march toward test

Give me a "C."

Give me an "R."

Give me a "C."

Give me a "T."

That cheer at Bayvale Elementary School on Friday might not mean a lot to most people. But pupils in the Augusta school have quickly learned the meaning of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, the standardized tests used in Georgia.

A school's results can bring it plenty of praise or a black eye.

As Richmond County pupils prepare to take the critical tests next week, Bayvale Principal Cheryl Fry organized a "Do Your Best on the CRCT Test" parade Friday. A few other schools also held events.

"We wanted to have a fun day for kids to let them chill out, because next week will be so gruesome," Ms. Fry said.

Before the final bell rang, pupils marched with posters and shouted cheers. Pupils in one class were dressed like a train with words on the side: "I think I can." Another class wore keys around their neck with signs indicating the "keys" to success. A third class held a banner pledging to do their best.

The parade led behind the school, where children and teachers formed a giant circle and released balloons to symbolize test scores rising.

"We are pumped up," teacher Claudette Martin said. "I think we are going to do well."

Bayvale is one of 32 schools in Richmond County placed on the state's needs-improvement list last year. On Tuesday, Bayvale pupils in grades 1-5 will begin taking hourlong tests twice a day for six days.

"We are one of the needs-improvement schools, and we don't want to be any longer," Ms. Fry said. "The teachers have been preparing for the test all year, and we've done all we possibly can do."

The tests are also important for Georgia's third-graders because they will determine whether pupils are promoted. There is an appeals process and an opportunity to retake the tests in the summer.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.

Be Prepared

School officials offer a few tips as children prepare for test day:

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Don’t cram the night before
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Get to school on time
  • Don't panic

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