Beginning Tuesday, students across the state of Texas will take their final TAKS tests for the 2010-2011 school year. To prepare, students across the Alice Independent School District have been hard at work making final preparations for the tests throughout the past few weeks.

To help alleviate stress and give students a break, schools have also given students study breaks last week in the forms of pep rallies and motivational presentations.

At William Adams Middle School, more than 800 students ended the week with a TAKS pep rally featuring several routines by the school’s cheerleading squad as well as a series of skits by faculty.

“It’s to get the kids pumped up, motivated and send out the message that we’ve got to get ready for TAKS,” WAMS principal Lucy Munoz said.

The school was also visited by motivational speaker Buffy Coleman, a former member of the Harlem Wizards who performed basketball tricks while talking about the importance of TAKS testing.

Many of the campuses also had daily activities throughout the week, such as crazy hats, pajama day and more.

Munoz said some students will actually start testing Monday, so students should make sure they attend school every day this week. TAKS testing will begin at 8 a.m. every day.

“Students need to go to bed early, eat breakfast and just try to remember the strategies that their teachers have been giving them,” Munoz said. “The main thing is to be well rested and ready for plenty of reading, whether it be math, science or history.”

Even if a student is not testing that day, Munoz said they need to still attend school. She said for eighth graders at WAMS, Tuesday and Wednesday will feature science and social studies “blitzes.”

“The eighth-grade teachers have developed about three hours of  review where they’ll be going over all of the objectives of science and social studies,” she said.

Munoz said that for Thursday and Friday, seventh graders will be taking science and history benchmarks.

“So there’s something every day,” she said. “We need to make sure that parents have their students here. Seventh graders do not have a second chance, so they need to come to take the test. They need to be here.”

Munoz said if students are absent, Alice ISD administrators will be going out to get them.

“I’ll knock on their doors,” she said. “If they say they have a doctor’s appointment, they can bring an excuse but the state has now developed a plan that states that we have to go out and (get them). We just can’t have them absent.”

Students at Alice High School will be using a different schedule this week from Tuesday through Friday. Monday will be on regular schedule and students should report to their classes as they normally would.

Beginning Tuesday, AHS interim principal Jaime Huerta said any student not testing will have a late arrival at noon and should report directly to the new gym.

For freshman students, a math blitz will be offered in the AHS choir room from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.

High school students who didn’t pass one or more of the math, science or social studies exit-level tests will also retest this week.

TAKS Schedule

Tuesday, April 26

Math - Grades 3, 4, 6, 7 & 10

Wednesday, April 27

Reading - Grades 3, 4, 6 & 7

Math (exit level & retest) - Grade 11

Thursday, April 28

Science - Grade 5, 8 and 10

Science (exit level & retest) - Grade 11

Math - Grade 9

Friday April 29

Social Studies - Grades 8 & 10

Social Studies (exit level & retest) - Grade 11