MOULTRIE — Next school week, before the fun and games of Spring Break, high school students will have to turn their attention to more serious matters — the Georgia High School Graduation Tests.

Students in the 11th and 12th grade will be tested in the four content areas of reading/English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Colquitt County Schools Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Mo Yearta described these tests “high stakes.”

“The results of these tests are eagerly awaited, especially for 12th grade students who want to graduate in May,” she said. “All teachers, K through 12th grade, should take an interest in the success rate of the Georgia High School Graduation Test as the scores reflect not only the efforts of high school teachers but also the foundation teaching and learning that must take place in elementary and middle schools.”

After Spring Break, which runs through the first week of April, elementary and middle school students return to school to make final preparations for the annual Criterion Referenced Content Test (CRCT).

For nine days, April 14 through 24, students and teachers in the elementary and middle schools will be concentrating on demonstrating their foundation teaching and learning through improved results in reading, language arts, math, science and social studies.

Teachers, parents, coaches and churches can also assist by urging students to rest well the night before assessments and avoid late evening activities.

“If they’re well-rested, it will make it easier for them to concentrate,” Yearta said.

Also, good nutrition and hydration play a bigger part than some might think, Yearta said. With that in mind, Colquitt County Schools will provide free breakfast for students during the days of testing regardless if they qualify for the free or reduced meal program.

“As usual, the teachers just knock themselves out — as do most of the students too — trying to prepare for this,” she said. “Teachers are making sure they have taught well so students understand. We just have to try our best.”

In the transitional years from Quality Core Curriculum standards to the new Georgia Performance Standards, it’s not quite possible to accurately track progress, Yearta said, but generally Colquitt County students held their own under pressure during last year’s more challenging tests.

“We didn’t make progress, but the fact that we didn’t go all the way back is good considering we changed the curriculum. We held our place, which is pretty good since it’s a much harder, more rigorous test,” she said.

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