LITCHFIELD–Litchfield gears up for a big testing day this week as students will be taking the ACT and NSCAS (Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System). The administration found new ways to encourage and inspire students to do their best.
Principal Matt Drew and Superintendent Wade Finley planned an academic pep rally the afternoon before the big day. The pep rally celebrated student results from last year’s tests. Students who did well, or were “on track” as described by NSCAS measurements, received a trophy. Students who excelled demonstrating CRC (College and Career Readiness) were recognized with a certificate with their picture on it. The trophy cases now include the academic award certificates and will be on display for all to see at the entrance to the gym.
“I’m excited to spotlight our elementary and high school students who perform well in the classroom. Academics are the most important job of our school. These tests evaluate us against the rest of the state and we want to showcase our success,” Principal Drew said.
Students cheered on their classmates as they won awards but the crowd favorite by far was when Mr. Drew announced that each student would get to throw a water balloon at him. The crowd erupted with cheers. Each student was given a water balloon as the superintendent, Mr. Finley, counted down to the big finale when Mr. Drew was drenched.
Principal Drew told KCNI/KBBN he was grateful for the warm weather on Monday as he was bombarded with water balloons and thought the fun event helped students focus during Tuesday’s testing.
“I didn’t watch them, I had my eyes closed and then a helmet kind of protecting me. I just had to do the last thing but the teachers have been prepping them the whole year and that’s where we’ll have the real success,” Drew said.
Fifth/sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Vega thinks the students were ready for testing day. “The recognition of the academic pep really created an incredible positive attitude in the classroom, it inspired them,” Vega said.
“It makes us want to work harder,” said fifth-grade student Ava Paitz.
Sixth-grade student Lane Slocum said “It pumped us up.”
Students found that the pep rally did the job. Freshman Kaylee Rosentreader said “Seeing the rewards and students being recognized definitely encourages me to try hard on the test tomorrow.”
Junior Rilee Howard said “I think it’s cool that they want to encourage us to work hard and it makes our efforts feel appreciated.”