New High School Has High Hopes for FCAT

Quincy, Shanks and Havana Northside of course have since merged into East Gadsden High, and that means the school will soon be getting its very first grade following the FCAT.

East Gadsden school officials have several new programs in place, including one that's designed to improve reading skills. There is also after school assistance for those students needing extra help.

The FCAT has been on the minds of students at East Gadsden High School since they stepped on the new campus. School administrators say they've implemented a series of programs designed to help students do well on the test.

"Throughout the day with our intensive math class we try to do more hands on motivational type things so the kids wont be afraid of FCAT," says Rhonda Cunningham, an intensive math teacher:

To conquer these fears, two teachers from different class subjects are now working together to give students some one-on-one help.

"By using a team teaching approach we're pairing a coaching type of situation to help individual students needs are able to be met more intensely than if you were to teach them separately in one classroom," says Tammy Henson, an East Gadsden reading coach.

Administrators say the key to success on the FCAT is to keep students from putting too much emphasis on the test itself, and focusing instead on doing well in all core classes.

Geni Everett, East Gadsden High senior administrator, says, "We're just trying to get them to relax and do what they normally do in class. They're all learning what we're teaching them, all they need to do is relax. It's not the end of the world when it comes to the testing comes around we're tested on everything we do."

Last year hanks received a "D" grade and Havana Northside received an "F." School officials are hoping the merger and new teaching techniques will bring the new school a passing grade this year.