FCAT Advance

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Thousands of students across the Sunshine State will take the Florida Comprehensive Test next month.

Gadsden County school officials have several programs in place to help students in the rural community tame the FCAT.

For the past year students at James A. Shanks Middle School have been bombarded with material and lectures designed to help them score high marks on the FCAT, and over the years Shanks has gradually made the grade from an "F" to a "C" school.

Rosalyn Smith said, "We believe one of the greatest factors for academic success is community and parental involvement so we've tap into what the district is doing to make sure all our parents are involved."

Deryl Jefferson is seeing some positive results in her children's education.

Deryl said, "It's a lot of programs out here to assist them and they're doing great in Gadsden County. I had thought about moving them, but I changed my mind."

And that's good news for a school district working diligently to ensure all students get a bright future with computer based programs to tag team teaching.

In addition to programs in schools, Gadsden County administrators have several billboards at major thoroughfares, all in an effort to encourage parents to help their children become FCAT all stars.

Although the students won't receive Oscars for their academic performance, administrators are rewarding them for their star-worthy efforts in the classrooms. Students take the writing portion of the FCAT on February 6.