Lawrence school district students had the Jayhawks to thank for a slight reprieve in state assessment testing.
A number of elementary schools postponed state assessments that were scheduled for Tuesday for fear that students would come in groggy or miss school entirely after Monday’s NCAA championship game that pitted Kansas University against the University of Kentucky.
New York School principal Nancy DeGarmo said that with tipoff not until 8:30 p.m., she knew her students were going to be awake way past their bedtimes to watch the game. She also recognized that many of the school’s teachers would be in similar circumstances.
“There’s no point in putting ourselves in a stressful situation when we’re tired,” she said. “(We decided) let’s take today and do what we normally do and keep educating the kids. Let’s not throw in a state assessment test on top of that.”
Terry McEwen, who is the division director of assessment, research, grants and school improvements for the district, said this is the first time he recalls a conflict between state testing and a KU basketball championship game.
Schools can take the assessments between Feb. 15 and April 20. Many schools wait until after the spring break, which explains why so many schools were testing this week. Many save the last week of testing for makeups.
“It is pretty widespread testing this week and next,” McEwen said.
At New York, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders were scheduled to take either math or reading state assessment tests on Tuesday. Those tests have been moved to Friday.
“We’ve got the time. It’s not like the window closes on Friday,” DeGarmo said.
Hillcrest School principal Tammy Becker pushed back the state assessment math test for her fifth-graders.
“Mainly, I didn’t want to have a bunch of absences,” Becker said. “It was more of a precautionary thing.”
With the Final Four game on Saturday and the National Championship game on Monday, Becker said there wasn’t much time to make adjustments.
“Part of it is making sure we have the best testing environment for the kids. And we really work with families to make sure the kids are here on testing day,” she said.
Hillcrest also had a number of students taking the Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment, which evaluates how well students can listen, speak, read and write English. Those were later in the day, so Becker said the school decided to maintain that testing schedule.
Quail Run also moved its assessment testing from Tuesday to Friday.
Not every school let Monday’s basketball game stand in the way of state assessments, McEwen said, including some middle schools.
“They’ve got a tighter schedule to fit all of this into because of the sheer number of students and tests to administer,” McEwen said.