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Thomas Schools get a headstart on CRCT

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

September 25, 2008

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - The Criterion Referenced Competency Test is still several months away, but Thomas County Schools say it's important to prepare now. A workshop encouraged parents to step in early and get involved.

Middle School students are taking a benchmark test given throughout the school year in preparation for the CRCT they'll take in the Spring.

Literacy Coach Lisa Gilligan says kids need their parent's help to succeed. "Looking at what their children are doing at school everyday, going over homework with them, going over papers. These may seem like simple strategies but I think sometimes as parents we need to be reminded of the importance of those things."

That's why Thomas County Superintendent Dr. Jean Quigg held a special workshop to remind parents of their importance.

"We want to give them strategies and tips on how to support what we're doing in school in all content areas as opposed to waiting until right before the CRCT and then try and give suggestions."

The New Georgia Performance Standards curriculum has been rolling in one year and subject at a time. Last year was the first year of CRCT testing under the full new curriculum, Thomas County schools did well, except for the Math area, which they hope to improve on this year.

"I think anytime parents can go over homework especially word problems with students, because that involved not only a math skill but a reading skill as well, " says Quigg. "Even math now, the new math standards involve so much reading. Every math problem is a word problem."

So Thomas County school teachers encourage parents to start understanding the new curriculum now.

"We definitely see a difference when students have parents who are involved in their education, not just in the testing but in their every day education."

New report cards are also helping parents and teachers keep up with their student's progress. Instead of a letter grade, students receive a mark indicating the specific areas they need help on.

"The new report card just gives parents more details as to how their student is doing in the particular standard. For example, as opposed to only getting an overall LA grade. They get a score on each on of the standards under LA.

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