DeKalb County students will be taking the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, Achievement Tests starting April 23.
Students in grades 3-8 take the Achievement Test, and high school students take End of Course exams for various subjects. In addition, some school systems, including DeKalb County will administer the Achievement Test to students in Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2 in the areas of reading/language arts, and math. TCAP is a set of statewide assessments given in Tennessee to measure students' skills and progress.
The Achievement Test is a timed, multiple choice assessment that measures skills in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. "April 23 is the first day of testing. It will be our Reading, Language Arts test," said Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K to 6th grade. "On April 24 it will be Math. April 25th will be Science and April 26th will be social studies. That is the 3-8 grade schedule. This year we are also testing kindergarten and first grade. Last year we tested second grade. But for kindergarten, first and second grade, the main focus of their testing will be the Reading, Language Arts, and Math. Those are very important subjects and we want to make sure that they have those foundational skills and that they are ready for third grade. April 29-30 will be two days that we have for make ups," said Burklow.
School officials urge parents to make sure their children are well rested and have had breakfast before they get to school. "Parents make sure your child gets plenty of sleep the night before the tests," said Burklow. "We do not want anyone to oversleep because we are going to start testing at 8:15 a.m. so we do not want children to come into school feeling rushed and under pressure. We want them to come in relaxed. So make sure students get plenty of sleep and that they get up in time and be ready to go to school. Also be sure that the child eats a healthy breakfast. I know Stephanie Dyer, our school nutrition supervisor will be serving breakfast on the main days of testing, TCAP as well as End of Course. She is very supportive of supplying breakfasts for the children because it is a pretty long testing session in the mornings and she knows the importance of the children eating breakfast. If your child does not eat breakfast at home, they have a great breakfast at the schools so parents help your students start the morning off right. Make sure they have a full stomach and are ready to learn," said Burklow.
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby also asks parents to try and avoid any conflicts that would keep your children out of school this week. "During this week that we are giving TCAP tests, we would ask that parents don't schedule any kind of appointments, such as dental visits. Please reschedule those to another time. Because if you come to school at 9:00 a.m. and want to check your child out of school, if the test is underway we cannot go in and disturb that classroom. We have to monitor that classroom and make sure that everyone in that classroom has a great opportunity to do well on the test," said Willoughby.