ELIZABETHTON — All students in the Carter County School System from kindergarten through 12th grade will now take end-of-year tests following approval by the school board during Thursday’s meeting.
There was no comment about the change made at the meeting. The item had been placed on the consent agenda after it had been discussed during a school board workshop last week.
The change impacts only students and teachers in grades kindergarten through second grade. All students in higher grades were already required to take end-of-year exams.
The Tennessee Department of Education does not require testing for students in second grade and below, but this year the state will provide funding for the testing of second graders.
Board member Don Julian said during the workshop session that he favored early testing, and said the results would be helpful in “making sure the students are getting what they need.”
The second graders’ results would also be useful in the evaluation of third-grade teachers, officials said.
There had not been a requirement to take the exams in the lower grades in the past because there had not been a good mesh between the curriculum the students were under and the standard testing, officials said.
In other matters, the board approved a plan to provide upgrades to the visitors’ side bleachers at both Hampton and Happy Valley high schools. The improvements will close the openings beneath each row as a safety precaution. The upgrades have already been done on the home stands.
The project’s cost is $6,093 at Hampton and $5,530 at Happy Valley.
The attendance figures for the first few months of the school year were reported to the board. The attendance rate was 95.1 percent.
Head Start Director Peggy Campbell said the attendance for 4-year-olds was 89 percent, which exceeded the required of 87 percent. Campbell said the lower requirement was because the children are especially susceptible to illnesses at that age.
The Carter County Head Start Written Plan was also approved in the consent agenda.