With testing under way, students given advice from the bench

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2012



EDGARD – With LEAP testing taking place at schools across the state this week, faculty members at West St. John Elementary School in Edgard enlisted the help of St. John the Baptist Parish Judge Madeline Jasmine Monday to motivate students and get them focused on what it takes to succeed on the test.

“The test is an important part of your future, but there is no need to be nervous,” Jasmine said. “Do what you have to do in order to do your best, but remain calm. There is not going to be a question that you cannot answer without a little bit of thought.”

Jasmine reminded the students that it is not just unusual to get nervous when confronted with a new challenge. She said teachers, principals and even judges like her self get anxious when approaching something new.

“Just tell yourself that you can do it,” Jasmine said. “Your teachers, your principal and your community will be proud of you at the end.”

Jasmine told the students that they should take advantage of the positive encouragement they are regularly offered. She said pep rallies and guest speakers were not the norm when she was growing up and going to school.

“We didn’t always have people coming to encourage us,” Jasmine said. “That is how important this test is, and it is important that you take it seriously.

Jasmine encouraged a good night of sleep and a good breakfast on the morning of the test. She also encouraged a refrain from television, video games and other distractions in the afternoon.

“Those things will be there for you after the tests are over,” Jasmine said. “Give it a break this week and stay focused on school work.”

St. John School System Superintendent Courtney Millet also addressed the students regarding some of the finer points of test taking.

Phase I of the standardized LEAP test, which assesses students’ writing and math ability, concludes today. Phase II will be given April 12-17.