The tests took place March 24-27 during first period and takes from 60-90 minutes each day. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Vicki Rogers told students at Wednesday’s assembly that chance favors the prepared mind.
“Today is not about chance, it’s about preparedness. You are already prepared. Do your best, we are behind you,” she said.
The number 519 was posted on the cafeteria wall. Jones County High School principal Chuck Gibson said the number is a target set for this year’s high school graduation test scores.
He said the passing score for the test is 500 and 519 is passing with proficiency.
“It didn’t seem to be a problem for our students to pass the test, so we wanted to go to the next step,” Gibson said.
Last year was the first time for the free breakfasts and promotions before the tests and passing scores improved from 74 to 88 percent from 2006.
As an added incentive, Monday and Wednesday, the Jones County High School Lunchroom provided a free breakfast for the test takers; Tuesday, the Bloomfield Road Chick-fil-A restaurant in Macon donated 375 breakfast biscuits to support the students; and Thursday, the faculty and staff of the high school provided the juniors with a buffet breakfast.
In addition to breakfast, door prizes donated by local businesses were given to students with a good dose of encouragement from Gibson.
The principal said the free breakfasts had a two-fold purpose of helping the student to be more alert and focused due to the nutritional value of the most important meal of the day and sending the students the message that someone genuinely cares that they do well on the tests.
If the students do not pass the test with the first attempt, however, they do have several more chances to take the test during their junior and senior years.
“It’s a controlled pep rally atmosphere to take the edge off the test, and breakfast gives them an extra boost,” Gibson said. “Seeing the outside support and knowing that someone in the community and the central office cares makes a difference. Breakfast is a chance for us to add a little support, and it shows them the importance of the test.”
Teacher Leah Bodnarchuk assisted with the graduation test promotions. She said the faculty and staff of JCHS kicked off the test week with individual incentives in the form of personal motivational notes to each test taker that was placed in a ‘goodie-bag’ donated by them.
The juniors were also given special ‘519-THINK SHARP’ pencils to keep their goal in mind during the tests. Bodnarchuk said Jones County Board of Education members and Administrative Office personnel expressed their support as well by attending the breakfasts each morning.
Board member Delores Moon spoke to the junior class Monday, and Superintendent Jim LeBrun, Assistant Superintendents Dr. Vicki Rogers and Verneda Appling, and other Jones County Administrative Office personnel showed their support by attending the breakfasts.
Bodnarchuk said students agree that this approach to these high stakes tests helped them relax as they prepared to enter the test environment. The students had another incentive to do well on the test. She said any student who scores a 519 or higher on any section of the GHSGT will receive an invitation to a ‘519’ party scheduled for Monday, May 19, on the JCHS track.
If a student scores a perfect score of 600, they will be invited to attend the cookout and are promised an additional incentive for their hard work.
Chick-fil-A, La Fiesta, El Amigo, Zaxby’s, C & L Nail Salon, Grayhound Grill and Steakhouse, Cucumber’s, Subway of Gray, Krystal of Gray, Huddle House of Gray, Gray Quick Lube, Lucy Jane’s, Gray Athletic Club, Elite Fitness, Ace Hardware and Movie Gallery were the businesses that provided items for the drawings each morning.
Door prize winners were: Sterling Bradford, Darius Sneid, April Morrison, Chris Hall, Tara Robinson, Earl Humphries, Debra McWilliams, Raven Rawlings, Aurelia Brown, Emily Ward, Danielle Evans, Candace Jordon, Brandon Morris, Candace Slocumb, Robert Reeves, Brittany Towles, Brett Ross, Franklin Brown, Paris Watson, Brittanie Bailey, Katie Amos, Lastacia Ross, Josten Roberts, Erik Johnson, Kevin Green, Nick Jordan, Ashlyn Bryant, Sawyer Myers, Joel Hodges, Tiffany Robinson, Brittany Adams, Breanna Deal, Ashley Hobby, Scott Robinson, Chris Spires, Stephanie Ellington, Matt Marino, Candace Hughes, Jessica Thompson, Victoria Dinkins, Mary Beth Epps, Leanna Phillips, Anthony Singleton, Olivia Barlow, Elizabeth Pullen, Kimberly Hitchcock, Johnyetta Martin, Corey Trice, Jason Truelove, Brandon Lawler, Kaitlyn Van Valkenburg, Amanda St. John, Jessica Pitts, Areale Nunn, Charlie Davis, Hunter Thomas, Kenneth Messer, Wilbur Foreman, Sierra Sawley, Josh Harrington, West Johnson, Justin Pehlke, Miltanay Craig, Mia Newton, Amber Crosby, Tyler Roberts, Heather Kent, Jamaal Neal, Kristen Loth, Jesse Chaffin, Jasmine Hooten.
The coveted grand prize drawing on Thursday for a free tardy hall pass and a free Saturday school pass went to Robert O’Donnell and Josh Lambert.