Jefferson County Prepares Students for FCAT

In 10 days students in Florida will take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, better known as the FCAT. One rural school is hosting an intense study session to help their students succeed on the test.

The classrooms should have been empty for a teacher planning day, but Howard Middle School officials decided to instead hold an FCAT blitz to help students prepare for the upcoming test.

Principal Juliette Jackson at Howard Middle says, "We were 14 points away from being a "C" school and we're intending to just make sure we have all that we can do because we have children here who want learn. We have children who want to achieve and we have a community that embraces this school."

In fact, several community members were on hand to help the students, including former school Principal Jim Norton. These kids say they're grateful for this academic boost.

Kereshia Coates, an eighth grader, says, "I thought it was very educational for me to come here on this day off so I can learn more stuff to prepare me for the FCAT.”

Kimyrian Kirksey, a Howard Middle School student, says, "I thought FCAT was going to be simple questions and so this taught me that it's not and it's time to get serious and stop playing around.”

For the second year in a row these teachers have opted to set aside their day off to work with students on difficult problems.

Jackie Brown, a Gadsden County math instructor, says, "The eighth graders are working on measurements and I'm finding that throughout the state of Florida most of the students aren't doing well with measurements and I think one of the reasons they're not doing well is because they're not reading into the problem."

School officials are hoping these students' hard work will turn Howard into an A school. More than half the school's population participated in the FCAT blitz.