This year's theme for PARCC testing at Sundance Elementary School: "Let's hit one out of the PARCC!"
This week, students at Sundance and all over New Mexico, will undergo mandatory PARCC testing, or Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
Test taking can be stressful, so the school held an assembly in the cafeteria to calm their nerves and prepare them for the week.
First, pre-school students paraded through the crowd holding up banners they created to help encourage the students during their test-taking journey. Their signs had motivating slogans: “Don’t stress! Do your best!” and “We Believe in You!”
But school officials also had some helpful hints for students to also prepare for testing, starting at home. To demonstrate, teachers performed hilarious skits about proper nutrition, getting enough sleep, and having a good attitude.
"I don't have time to eat this morning. I think I'll just eat this mint in my pocket," Cristy Burt said as the fourth grade teacher pulled a piece of candy out of her pocket.
"I'm going to eat my orange and enjoy a yummy breakfast burrito," said Heather Cannon, another teacher at Sundance, as she placed her breakfast on the table.
"So which student is showing the proper nutrition for test taking?" Carolyna Aparici-Chavez asked the crowd.
"Ms. Cannon!" they shouted.
"That's right! Her breakfast is perfectly balanced with lots of protein like eggs and bacon and an orange. This breakfast will make sure she's full of energy and focus and that her tummy's full so she won't get hungry during the test," Aparici-Chavez explained.
The Sundance Elementary Parent Teacher Organization is also providing incentives to keep the students on track.
“We have some great prizes for you to win this week and all you have to do is remember three important rules so you can take part,” said Vanessa Tregembo, the assistant principal at Sundance Elementary School.
“Number one: attendance. Remember, you must be here to test and you must be on time. If you are late, you cannot test and you will not be able to enter the contest,” she said.
“Number two: do your best. And number three: use your time wisely,” she stated. The Parent Teacher Organization purchased different prizes, such as, rubik’s cubes, emoji pillows, sporting equipment, and games. There will be one winner from each class per day. Once PARCC testing is over, there will be a drawing for grand prizes for bicycles, ripstiks, and skateboards.
The New Mexico Public Education Department replaced the Standards Based Assessment (or SBA) back in 2014 with PARCC. According to PED, it measures the full extent to which students are demonstrating mastery of the New Mexico Common Core State Standards. Students in grades 3 through high school participate in the test at the end of each school year.