Westside Elementary holds FCAT rally

3rd to 5th grade students voluntarily go to school over holidays to study

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Despite being home for the holidays, students at a Jacksonville elementary school held a FCAT rally on Thursday to prepare for the statewide test.

The students who came to West Jacksonville Elementary school during the week said they wanted to.

"I like coming to school. I think it's fun," said Jyree Richardson, a fifth-grader.

Students in third, fourth and fifth grade voluntarily came in to prepare for the new Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

Scores on the FCAT go a long way in determining a school's letter grade. West Jacksonville Elementary is a F school, but teachers hope to erase that grade.

"Our teachers that are here are here because they want to be," said Robyn White with West Jacksonville Elementary. "You have to work in an environment like this."

Even Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville showed up to cheer the kids on.

The FCAT measure how well students are meeting the Sunshine State's standards in reading, writing, mathematics and science. It also allows teachers and parents to compare Florida student performance in reading and mathematics with other students nationwide.

"We've taken on a whatever it takes to close the achievement gap between students and make sure they are successful, not only on the FCAT but for their whole academic career, for life," said White.

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