DALLAS – The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test is just a couple of weeks away. Spring Break is not stopping some students from using this week to prepare.
Over the loudspeaker in the Halls of Lee McShan, Jr. Elementary School, the principal’s voice could be heard motivating the students.
“We thank you so much for coming to our Spring Break, boys and girls,” the confident voice echoed.
While most students in Dallas are out of school, a few classes are still in session on this campus. Students and teachers are staying busy in Spring Break Camp.
"They’re just working on all their strategies. They practice and they do well on their tests," teacher Sandy Trubisky said.
Most of the students on this campus live in the Five Points area. It is one of the most immigrant populated communities in Dallas.
"We have students from primarily Asia, African countries, and Mexico, basically all over the world," teacher Leslie Smith said.
With English being a second language, in most cases, and the STAAR exam just 15 days away, teachers say this Spring Break Camp focuses on extra enrichment.
"This gives them extra time to practice with the language. To work on different vocabulary," Smith explained.
A small group of teachers is working four hours a day, three days this week. They are giving up part of their Spring Break to help make sure the children are prepared to tackle the standardized test.
"I really genuinely like the students,” Trubisky said. “I like to see them progress. So, it really makes a difference to me, and I enjoy coming here.”
The Spring Break Camp was an idea that came from the school’s student council three years ago. The children call the few hours of school work fun. They say they are focused on succeeding on the STAAR exam.