LEAP testing begins today

Published 12:23 am Tuesday, March 23, 2010

vidalia — Devin Carter, Garion King, Allie Corley and Kayondra Williams will enter Vidalia Upper Elementary School this morning with their heads held high and their No. 2 pencils sharpened, but not before eating a well-balanced breakfast.

The fourth-graders, along with students in grades 8, 10 and 11, will take the first phase of high-stakes tests today, and Carter, 10, is certain he will do well.

“I feel good because my teacher said I had one of the best (practice test scores),” Carter said.

Carter said he is not nervous about taking the real LEAP test. Students today will complete the math and language arts writing portions, which include essay questions and constructive response questions.

High-stakes tests require students achieve a certain score to proceed to the next grade or to graduate.

Unlike Carter, King, 9, used his thumb and forefinger to illustrate his test apprehension.

“I’m a little nervous, but I’m ready for the math,” King said.

King said his teacher Ginger Moffett engaged his class in writing exercises Monday as last-chance practice. Everyone had to write a paragraph about spring break vacation.

Corley, 10, said the writing exercise was the extra boost she needed for today.

“I’m nervous, but (Moffett) gives me the confidence I can do it,” Corley said.

Moffett said if each student in her class makes an advance on the test, the class will receive an exciting reward.

“We get to go the Sandbar Restaurant!” the students exclaimed.

“But everybody needs to make an advance,” Moffett reminded the students.

“Aww, man! That ain’t right!” Carter responded.

VUES Principal Darla Johnston said fourth-graders have been preparing for the tests since the start of the year. The second phase of the test, the traditional bubble tests associated with standardized testing, will be administered April 12-16.

Students in grades 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 will take the iLeap assessment test in mid-April. iLeap does not determine whether students will proceed to the next grade.

Johnston said after-school tutoring will be available to VUES students taking the LEAP and iLEAP tests beginning March 29.