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Schools prepare students, parents for state’s CRCT

Photo by Johnny Jackson 
Walnut Creek Elementary School parent, George Hudson, speaks to the school’s parent liasion specialist, Drema McCoy, about resources available to parents at the school to help students learn.

Photo by Johnny Jackson Walnut Creek Elementary School parent, George Hudson, speaks to the school’s parent liasion specialist, Drema McCoy, about resources available to parents at the school to help students learn.

George Hudson took notes during a recent parent workshop at Walnut Creek Elementary School in McDonough. He was one of several parents focused on what they could do to better help prepare their children for the upcoming Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) in April.

The parents heard from educators and administrators at the school, including the school’s parent liaison specialist, Drema McCoy, and the principal, Rita Pitner.

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Photo by Johnny Jackson Learning materials hang in a closet in a parent resources room at Walnut Creek Elementary School in McDonough.

McCoy operates the school’s “parent resource room,” which provides parents with space to study with their children. She also helped facilitate the CRCT Parent Workshop, showing the adults how to obtain additional study materials and techniques to help their children.

“We’re trying to make sure we’re providing a lot of extra resources for parents to use,” said Pitner.

Pitner pointed out that vocabulary is instrumental to succeeding on the CRCT because the tests are filled with word problems that can be challenging for students with vocabularies below grade-level.

Hudson said he was reminded by his 8-year-old daughter how important it is to do well on the CRCT.

“She’s concerned about this test,” Hudson said. “She’s not too confident. She’s more anxious for the test.”

Hudson said he attended the parent workshop in an effort to learn how to minimize his daughter’s stress.

“I don’t want to teach her the wrong thing,” said the father. “When I grew up, we didn’t have a CRCT. I think it’s a good thing, but on the other hand, I think she shouldn’t be stressed.”

Hudson checked out three study guide books from the school library that he plans to use with his daughter.

“When she wants to watch TV, or is doing nothing around the house, I’ll give her this,” he said.

Elsewhere, schools are planning to host CRCT pep rallies to encourage their students.

At McDonough Elementary School, for instance, organizers are planning the school’s annual partnership with Henry County High School, next door. The pep rally, scheduled for April 13, will include participants in the high school’s student organizations — drama, marching band, sports and athletics, and Navy JROTC programs.

The annual pep rally is designed “to emphasize the importance of doing well on CRCT,” according to Janet Wesley, McDonough Elementary’s parent involvement professional. It kicks off the two-week window of CRCT testing in Henry County. Testing begins Tuesday, April 17.