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Students gear up for FCATs

By Staff | Apr 9, 2011

Students throughout Lee County are gearing up for the The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test to be administered to elementary students next week.
Popularly called the FCAT, the tests are given to students in grades 3 – 11 statewide to measure how well they meet Sunshine State Standards in reading and mathematics (grades 3-10), science (grades 5, 8, and 11), and writing (grades 4, 8, and 10).
Many of the elementary schools in the Cape held pep rallies on Friday to help get students enthused about the exams.
Ann Fainer, assistant principal at Trafalgar Elementary School, said they held an FCAT rally Friday morning to take a little pressure off the students, while allowing them to release a some steam before the beginning of the test on Monday. Third, fourth and fifth graders created cheers, as did teachers, for the pep rally that was all about getting “everyone excited about taking the FCAT.”
In addition to the pep rally, Trafalgar Elementary also created an FCAT buddy system that paired kindergarten, first and second grade classes with third, fourth and fifth grade classes to create a banner and do some positive cheers for the test.
“It’s about taking the stress off of the kids,” Fainer said.
Patriot Elementary School Assistant Principal Francie Metzger said they also held a pep rally for third, fourth and fifth grade students Friday afternoon to encourage them to do their very best on the test.
She has told the students that this is their opportunity to show themselves, their parents, and the state of Florida how much they know and they have been preparing for the FCAT test for several months by adding some additional assistance.
In February, the school held an FCAT extended day after school to provide the students with some time to practice their skills. Any parent who wanted to sign their child up had the opportunity to do so.
Meanwhile, a “boost camp,” which ended last Thursday, was also held after school for children who needed some extra tutoring with reading and math.
Metzger said they invited students who they thought would benefit the most from the boost camp.
The after school programs helped approximately 150 students receive more assistance with their FCAT skills.
Metzger said they also have been encouraging the students to go to bed early, to eat a good breakfast and to arrive to school on time for the tests next week. She said these are critical things for the students to follow during the test so they are not stressed.
The FCAT testing will be administered from April 11 through April 20.
The schedule includes:
* April 11: reading third-10th grade and math for fifth grade
* April 12: reading third-10th grade and math for fifth grade
* April 13: math third-eighth grade, reading for fifth grade and science for 11th grade
* April 14: math for third and fourth grade and reading for fifth grade
* April 15: math for 10th grade
* April 18: FCAT make-up
* April 19: science for fifth and eighth grade
* April 20: science for fifth grade and FCAT make up