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Students, schools in midst of testing
sub Marc Bird
Marc "Magic Marc" Dunston shows off the cockatoo he had appear from a pot of fire during a magic show for Jordye Bacon Elementary School students last week. - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
Elementary and middle school students across the county are filling in answer bubbles with sharpened No. 2 pencils this week as part of the much-anticipated Criterion-Reference Competency Test.
Also known as the CRCT, it has been in the back of students' minds as many teachers mention it during lecture and administer timed practice tests.
The test has been especially emphasized for third, fifth and eighth grade students, who must meet state-mandated levels in math and reading in order to advance to the next grade.
While the test is clearly important, schools have taken an active role to assure children are not overly stressed about performing well. To help ease any test anxiety, several schools held pep rallies for students last week.
The day before its CRCT rally Jordye Bacon Elementary School students also enjoyed a magic show with WTOC's Marc "Magic Marc" Dunston on April 17.
He pumped up the students' confidence, reminding them of their academic abilities.
"The CRCT is nothing you can't handle," Dunston said. "It's material that you've been covering all year long. The CRCT, there's nothing to it."
Parent Involvement facilitator Rosalyn Sanchious arranged the magic show performance.
"I thought it would be nice for him to come and boost the kids up and get them more motivated about their test," she said.
Jordye Bacon Elementary Principal Dr. James Johnson said combining a magic show with a CRCT rally helped "lighten the atmosphere."
"Even though the test is crucial, we don't want them to be so tense that they don't do well," Johnson said.
"We prepare all year," he explained. "We work on the standards that the state gives us in the curriculum. We don't teach the test, but we teach the standards."
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