End-of-grade testing begins Wednesday

Published 12:10 am Monday, May 28, 2018

By Rebecca Rider

SALISBURY — Summer’s in sight, but students still have one last hurdle to clear before they wrap up the school year: testing.

Students in third- through eighth-grade begin end of grade tests on Wednesday, kicking off the district’s two-week testing season.

“It’s a busy last few days for school,” Alesia Burnette, district director of accountability said.

EOGs begin with reading, then math and then science for some grades. High schoolers and some middle school students will start end of course exams on Monday, June 4, and spend most of the following week in testing.

“And of course during that time there will be teacher made exams,” Burnette said.

For many students, testing is the most stressful time of year. There’s a tendency to think that the tests are make or break — a feeling that Burnette said school faculty and staff are trying to ease.

“Tell your child just to relax,” Burnette advises parents.

While the tests do carry weight, they’re not unknown territory.

“Kids have worked all year long to learn the content. …So this is just an opportunity for them to demonstrate what they’ve learned all year,” she said.

Approaching end-of-grade and course tests from this mindset can reduce stress and help students focus better, Burnette said.

But there are other things parents, and students, can do to make sure they’re sharper than their No. 2 pencil when test day rolls around. First and foremost, Burnette said, students should get a full night’s sleep.

“That’s really important every day, that’s not just on testing days,” she said.

Students should also eat a good breakfast before they come to school; and, as testing starts first thing in the morning, it’s more important than ever that students arrive to school on time. District administration also advises students to make sure their laptops and iPads are fully charged each day. Parents should also check social media and school and district websites to keep up-to-date on individual testing dates and other information.

The next two weeks may loom large, but the end is in sight.

“The bulk of testing will over on Thursday, June 7,” Burnette said.

And a bad grade on a test is not a death-knell for student grades. Rowan-Salisbury Schools participates in state programs like Read to Achieve, which allows younger students to make up end of grade reading tests. That exam will be held June 5.

Elementary, middle and high school students who couldn’t perform their best on state exams will also have an opportunity to take a make up test once school is out for the summer. Once preliminary test results are in, school administration will send home invitations to remediation and retests to students who scored a one or a two — below passing — on state exams. The letters will detail dates, times and transportation options for qualifying students.

“This is an opportunity for them, it is not a requirement,” Burnette said.

However, students wanting to retest must attend the allotted subject review day, typically held the day before the make-up exam. Students’ final day is June 8; reviews and retests will run from June 14 to June 21.

For more information visit www.rssed.org.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.