The Georgia milestone: how are our schools preparing the students?

Saturday, April 27, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A milestone is coming up for Georgia schools. It's a major test to determine how your child and your child's teacher are doing in the classroom.

The Georgia Milestone Assessment ultimately impacts a school's letter grade and its funding.

South Columbia Elementary third grader, Nia Avery, is spending her weekend the best way.

"I'm going to get my face painted, go on a bouncy house and paint a rock," Nia Avery said.

Behind the smiles and laughs, test anxiety is creeping up on students.

"I'm nervous!" Nia said.

The Georgia Milestone assessment is less than a week away. For Nia, the preparation day at South Columbia Elementary School was much needed.

"Because I never took the Georgia milestone before," Nia said.

While she may feel the pressure, students aren't the only one under it.

"It's a way for me to see how my students performed and how I can improve as a teacher," Melanie Ansley, a third grade teacher said. "Maybe certain areas they didn't do as strong as the others and how I can assess my teaching and work on it for next year."

The score is essential for growth within the district, but it also affects their college and career readiness score.

"We use it to just make a determination as to what we need to do different next year, how we can make adjustments with instruction, what standard students struggle with," Steven Cummings, Director of Assessment and Student Support Learning Services said.

Last year statewide, students excelled in reading but struggled in social studies, math, science and ELA.

Until next week, it's all about boosting their confidence.

"By getting the community and parents involved and rallying behind our students to show that they have a lot of support behind them, we'll hopefully start our next week off with testing on a good note to give them the encouragement they need to do their best," Ansley said.

And preparing in more ways than one.

"Eat a healthy breakfast and get plenty of sleep!" Nia said.

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