Tuesday, September 2, 2014
It’s not very often a third grader makes a perfect score on the PASS test but it can be done and one young man who is a student at the Williamsburg County Magnet School of the Arts proved that fact. Brooks Mixon was presented a special recognition during an August 26, PTO/Open House. The young man was presented a Nook, a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and a certificate for achieving what is considered a perfect score on the math section for the 2013-2014 school year.
Now a fourth grader, Brooks remembered how he studied for the test. “We started studying after we got all our notes, I think in February,” said Brooks. “I knew I would make a good score because I studied hard.”
The South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SCPASS) is a statewide assessment administered to students in grades fourth through eighth. All students in these grade levels are required to take the SCPASS except those who qualify for the South Carolina Alternate Assessment (SC-ALT). SCPASS includes tests in writing, English language arts (ELA) (reading and research standards), mathematics, science, and social studies. PASS testing is also used in evaluating each school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). A score between 830 and 900 is considered exemplary. Principal Sarah Boyd expressed her delight in the hard working student. “Brooks is a very studious student,” said Boyd. “He wants to achieve academically, so he perseveres. He gets along well with his classmates, and he doesn’t mind sharing with them. His parents are very supportive which, surely, makes a difference. Brooks is a friendly, well-mannered student who is willing to work hard to be successful.”
Preparing for the SCPASS tests, or any standardized test, begins with the teacher’s commitment to his or her children’s education throughout their school years. “It is a team effort,” said Brooks’ third grade teacher Teresa Dorn. “An effort between the child, parents and the teachers.”
Curriculum Specialist Ida Fulton has watched Brooks blossom since kindergarten. “I have always found him to be an exceptional student even in kindergarten class,” said Fulton. “He has always worked hard and never ever accept anything less than excellent.” Fulton set the bar by challenging the children to recite an achievable score. “I’d ask the kids, what’s my score. At first they looked at me like they didn’t know what I was talking about,” said Fulton. “And then I would say 900, 700, 800 and it got to the point when I’d say what’s my score, kids were telling me 1,000. Well, I knew that they couldn’t make a 1,000...but that’s ok because we got them motivated and thinking I can do it.
Even if they didn’t do it, they believed that they could do it.” Fulton added that other students achieved an exemplary score. “Those kids that made in the 700s and toward the upper end of the 600s - those students were considered exemplary. Brooks got an exemplary 5. We had other students get an exemplary 5 as well but Brooks score being a perfect score - we were notified by the state department (of education).” And what does the recipient of the attention think? “I like it,” said the young man of few words but whose actions speaks volumes.