The Newton County School System will administer the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) to elementary and middle school students during the week of April 20-24. The CRCT is designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge described in the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) and the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC). The CRCT assessments yield information on academic achievement at the student, class, school, system, and state levels. This information is used to diagnose individual student strengths and weaknesses as related to the instruction of the GPS/QCC, and to gauge the quality of education in the county and throughout Georgia. For students in third, fifth, and eighth grade, their results on the tests will also determine if they promote to the next grade level. Although Dr. Shelia Thomas, Newton County School System Testing Director, warns parents not to make their children study or “cram” for the test, she did say there are several things parents can do to help their children do well. “Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep each night before the test,” Thomas said. “Being in attendance and on time each day is very important.” In addition, she advised parents to make sure their children eat a nutritious breakfast the morning of the tests and of course, if a child wears glasses, be certain that he or she wears them to school each day of the testing period. “Above all,” said Thomas, “encourage your child to do his or her very best without creating anxiety.” Any parents or guardians with questions concerning the CRCT tests should contact their child’s teacher or a member of the school’s administrative staff.