By TIM CLEVELAND
With the statewide Ohio Achievement Assessments on the horizon the following week for third- and fourth-grade students, Stadium Drive Elementary hosted a pep assembly on April 24 to get students motivated to take the test.
The assembly consisted of singing motivational songs, such as “It’s All Good,” “I Think I’ll Think Twice” and “Reaching For The Stars.” Several staff members at the school had pictures of their heads superimposed over rock stars, pop stars and athletes for silly videos that were played on a projector for the students.
“You have to discipline yourself,” said Elementary Music Specialist for Boardman School Dean Wilson, who conducted the assembly. “You have to practice, practice, practice. To be good at what you do, you have to have enough sleep the night before, you need to eat a proper diet so that you’ll be at your very best. That’s what we’re looking for when they take their proficiency tests.
“Everybody’s very stressed, very tense, about doing well on this test. This is a fun, enjoyable way to break the tension.”
Third-grade students took the test April 30 and May 1, while fourth graders took it May 6 and 8. The test consists of 40 math questions and the students have to read several long passages and then answer several extended response questions.
There are four levels that students can score at – basic, proficient, excellent and advanced. A minimum passing score is 400, which is proficient.
Wilson said many things hinged on the students’ ability to pass the test.
“A lot is resting on the childrens’ performance on these tests,” he said. “We want them to do well. We want a good rating. Teachers’ salaries are in part based on how well students do on these tests. We want them to show what they know, show that they’ve indeed learned a great deal over the last year.”
One student taking the test was fourth-grader Cassidy Bryan. She said she was pretty confident in taking the test and usually gets A’s in school.
“[I’m] a little [nervous] but I have experience from the other years,” she said. “Our teachers are getting us ready for what they think that was on the test recently from past years.”