Oklahoma Schools Prepare For 'Testing Season'

Monday, April 13th 2015, 7:27 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Most of Oklahoma's public schools started state testing this week, but a few schools are still getting ready.

Parents and teachers are working to get the children ready while the schools are making sure they have the computers and test monitors ready.

It's a huge effort that lasts the next two and a half weeks, taking every computer most schools can find to handle the demand.

Each section of the test can take several hours - and every student takes at least two tests. Some take four or five.

The real effort goes into getting the children ready.

At Monroe, that means administrators teach several classes, including Principal Kiana Smith.

"It's essential for us to be in the classroom and model what that looks like," she said.

In Smith's class, students read passages and made decisions about what the text meant.

It's the kind of critical thinking skills being emphasized more on state tests.

Second-year teacher Becca Lais said she helps students prepare by working to calm their anxiety.

"It's a little overwhelming when you look at how much the test is covering, but when you tell them, ‘look you have mastery, 80 on this,' it helps them relieve the stress, ‘maybe I have just three standards I need to work on and I have a month to work on those and get ready,'" she said.

Oklahoma's middle schoolers will take math and reading tests, and some will take social studies and science exams.

Schools have spent months getting ready for the moment kids will log on to see how they do.

"We always say positive thoughts bring positive results, and so if they think positive, they'll have positive coming to them," Smith said.

Many schools still need volunteers to help monitor tests; without them teachers have to stop teaching to just watch over the tests.

Some schools started last Friday because they have a testing window, and that window runs through the first week of May.