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How to prepare: Students to take MCA-II tests this month

Reading, math and science will be on the minds of some 1,800 Detroit Lakes students this month as they will sit for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment Tests, which start this week.

The District spends a lot of time analyzing last year's data in preparation for this year's test. Teachers and administrators look at overall district scores, grade scores, and individual scores for messages that show strengths in certain areas of the curriculum as well as gaps that may be present.

So while the instruction centers around the tests all year, I thought it might be important to include parents in the mix of test preparation as well because parents do play an important role in the test process too. So here are some tips for parents to use at home over the next few weeks of testing.

• Stay calm yourself. The kids may be experiencing different forms of test anxiety, so it is important to limit stressful situations at home.

• Stay positive during this time. Encourage and praise a good effort.

• Make sure your child gets plenty of rest over the next few weeks of testing.

• Try to provide a healthy dinner the night before, and a good breakfast on test day. Speaking of eating, researchers are telling us of the importance of hydration as it does positively impact their quality of work.

There are some tips that parents can give to their children as they leave for school during this time of testing.

• Relax

• Encourage your child to put forth their best effort.

• Encourage your child to read and listen to the directions carefully.

• Take time, but work at a good, steady pace. Check the clock on occasion.

• Make sure the boxes are filled out and check for any stray marks on the answer sheet.

• Take the time that is needed. Tell your child to not worry about what others are doing.

• Relax

This will be an important test year for students in Detroit Lakes. It's important that all three parties are involved and working together.