The Chillicothe R-2 School District and its students, grades 3-8, are preparing the annual Missouri Assessment Program testing.
The MAP testing is used to evaluate where the state's schools rank against standards set by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“Schools are recognized for excellence in their work, and it's called distinction in performance,” R-2 Superintendent Roger Barnes said. “Normally, there's a percentile or a number of standards that must be met in order for a district to achieve that honor.”
Barnes said the instructors have been preparing for these tests all year, and because of the nature of the test, students continue to prepare all through grade school.
"It's pretty much a comprehensive exam from what you've learned all through the course of the year plus what you've had in past years," Barnes explained. "As you can imagine, a test for a fifth grader would be much more difficult than a test for a third grader. It builds upon your knowledge. We're preparing all year long for the MAP test."
Middle School Principal Steve Haley said the MAP tests are a major focus at this time of the year, and a number of different events and activities are planned to mentally and physically prepare students for their tests.
"Our test window is May 7-8," Haley said. "Teachers will be making a pancake breakfast for the kids before school. Only our eighth graders will be taking the science portion of the testing on May 9. Our student council will provide a McDonald's breakfast for those students. We want to make sure our students are well fed before testing throughout the day."
These tests can create much stress for students. Haley said in order to ease some of that stress and better prepare, time has been set aside each day to focus on what lessons they still need for the MAP testing. Haley said some steps can be taken at home, as well as in the classroom, to ease any stress that comes with these year-end tests.
"Make sure children get plenty of rest so they're physically ready," Haley suggested. "I think the students are taught very well. If they put in the effort and take it seriously, they'll do very well."
MAP testing will take place at Field Elementary April 23-25. Central Elementary and Chillicothe Middle School will conduct their testing the week of May 6.