Students in Biloxi Public Schools face a battery of tests this week, the final week for graduating seniors and the penultimate week of the school year for others.
Seniors face exams on Tuesday for Periods 2, 4, 6 and 8, and on Wednesday for Periods 1, 3 and 7. Seniors must have all deficiencies cleared by 3 p.m. on Wednesday to be eligible for graduation, and must attend a graduation practice on Monday, May 16 from 7:15 to 9:15 a.m. at the high school in order to participate in the graduation exercises on Sunday, May 22 at the Coast Coliseum.
Other students, meantime, also face their share of challenges this week.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, students in Grades 3 through 8 will take the Mississippi Curriculum Test, Second Edition. The test, known as MCT2, covers reading on Day 1, writing on Day 2, and mathematics on Day 3.
The MCT2 is the basis for state accountability in these grades, and is also designed to meet the federal testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Best advice: Parents have a role to play in making sure students are prepared for tests. Among the tips:
--- Make sure your student gets adequate sleep the night before the test.
--- Serve your student a good breakfast on test day.
--- Send your student off to school with encouraging words.
--- Do whatever possible to ensure a stress-free environment for your student during test week.
Football coaches to meet with parents
Football coaches and boosters will be meeting with parents of all 2011 freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior football players on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the high school auditorium.
Head football Coach John Shannon is asking that at least one parent of each player attend the meeting.
The 2011 schedules for freshman, JV and varsity teams will be announced, along with the schedule for summer workouts, and requirements for academics and eligibility.
Parents also will learn more about the role of the boosters club.
Incidentally, while the meeting is taking place, the Booster Club will be feeding the football team.
Lady Indians are the 2011 South State track champs
The Lady Indians track team captured the South State Championship over the weekend, leading a field of 16 teams and outpacing the nearest competitor by 30 points.
The Lady Indians, already District Champions, were led at South State by Nachaska Wright, whose day included qualifying in three individual events. Tisa Smith and Shannen Weyer finished the day by qualifying in two individual events.
Coach Payton Ragon said other bright spots for the team were Miia Newman, who finished 1st in the pole vault; and the 4x100 relay team, which finished 2nd.
The Lady Indians qualified 12 individuals for the state meet and in 11 total events.
Said Ragon: "This gives us a shot at the state title!"
Madden to compete in State Track Championship
Senior Anthony Madden will compete in the 300 hurdles on Saturday in Jackson.
Madden qualified for the state meet after finishing a close second in the South State competition.
Track Coach Michael Reese also congratulated other seniors who competed at South State: Drew Hopkins, Kieonta Causey and Camryn Deere for their dedication and hard work this year, as well as all the underclassman who participated and performed at their best level.
Said Reese: "Thanks for a great year!"
Biloxi students take honors in statewide poetry contest
Two Biloxi students have placed first and second in a poetry contest sponsored through the Mississippi's Poet Society.
Senior Robert Thomas won first place, and 10th grade student E'yonna Vinson placed second.
Both were encouraged to enter the contest by teacher Alicia Blair.
To read the winning entries from the Biloxi students,