Tonight, February 26th, parents and relatives of students in Wichita County Schools, congregated in the WCHS gym just before the Wichita County Indians took on the Elkhart basketball players. Many of those people were there to watch as their child/children were awarded for Standards of Excellence with Kansas State Testing. Only students from third through twelth grade were eligible for the awards as children in kindergarten, first and second grades do not take these tests.
I was expecting around 50 or 60 honorees. Instead, I was flabbergasted when somewhere around 100 kids lined up to receive their documents and medals! The awards were given for Science, Writing, Math and Reading. A bunch of kids received one award. Others received two or three. I also noticed that at least one student, a fifth grader, received ALL FOUR!
State testing was implemented several years ago when the United States began noticing that students of other countries were educated better than most kids here at home. Therefore, the No Child Left Behind program was born. More than ever before, tests scores are really being counted.
I have heard that one school district in Kansas that is comparable to Wichita County in size, etc., usually gives out 10-15 of these awards annually. What a difference between them and us!!!
Sure, we can brag on the great intelligence of our kids but there is something vitally important that we should NEVER forget or discount. That is the quality of our teachers. The information just does not suddenly appear into the minds of our children. Our teachers are required to get the information to the children.
I have been a Wichita County resident for 44 of my 48 years on this world of ours. Never ever have I heard anything but the fact that our teachers are superb--in a class of their very own. I would never want our daughters to be educated anywhere else but Wichita County.
I would also like to commend our School District 467's school board, our principals and Superintendant Dr. James Hardy for allowing all of our deserving students to be honored tonight! By doing so, I believe that all of the students will be more determined than ever to do well on their tests which will be starting again within the next few days.
There are a few things that parents of students can and should be doing to help our children excel in their tests:
1. Make sure that the student(s) get plenty of RESTFUL sleep. No TVs should be turned on in the child's bedroom during testing schedules.
2. Feed a good breakfast in the mornings.
3. Be positive for your kids. Let them know that you are sure that they will do a good job. Don't be negative.
4. Take away as much stress as possible during these times. The students need to be able to concentrate on their tests--nothing else.
5. I've heard some teachers say that students should NOT study for these tests the night before the test. I would advise that you ask your child's teacher.
6. Some people recommend that the students eat or suck on a mint just before testing. The mint sensations "wake up" the brain, so to speak.
7. DO YOUR UTMOST BEST to make sure that your child is at school if at all possiblewhen the class testing is being done.
8. Make sure that your kids wear comfortable clothes and shoes to school. Send them with a sweater or light jacket in case the testing atmosphere is too cool for your child to concentrate.
To sum it all up, I would like to congratulate these outstanding students AND our outstanding teachers who go out and give their absolute best!!!
I also want to stress that the other students did NOT necessarily score poorly on their tests. Not so. The awards that were given tonight were for the very highest scores. There were still many kids who acheived scores considerably higher than the average score. Only the highest scorers were honored tonight.
By the way, our daughter, Leighlyn, received an award for Reading and a second award for Writing. Way to go, Leighlyn!!! Our Abigayle is still in the first grade so she has not been through the state testing phases yet.