The FCAT is back in Florida classrooms this week, forcing students to sharpen their pencils and put on their thinking caps, but it's difficult to test when you're down and out with the flu.
The bug has struck hard in Wakulla County. Two weeks ago more than 100 students were out sick in one day at just one elementary school. Now, the outlook is brighter with rejuvenated students ready to make the grade.
For Tammi Light, the next two weeks carry a lot of weight. It's her first year at Shadeville Elementary School and her first chance to be part of a straight "A" tradition.
“There was a lot of pressure. I worked at an "A" school, but still want to help maintain what [has been] achieved and accomplished.”
At Shadeville Elementary School the students and staff have achieved five straight As in a row and these next two weeks of FCAT testing may earn them a sixth. That's if the health gods are kind.
Karen Wells, Shadeville Principal, says, “The aftermath of the flu was a concern. We need at least 95 percent of the students to be tested.”
With more than 100 Wakulla County students calling in sick just this month alone, the outlook was grim. Even though the flu season hit them hard, when it came time to test, a mere eight students called in sick. That's just over one percent of the students at Shadeville, a great attendance even among staff.
The reading and math portions of the FCAT started Monday the 28th and run through March 11. If a child is absent during the FCAT testing teachers say the student can make it up later in the week when they are healthy.
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