“The tips that you’re seeing are not just test taking tips for those kind of tests, it could be for your reading test or your spelling test or your math test,” Holdsworth said. “Just relax and be the very best you can be.”
Pep band and cheerleader participation was frequent, getting the entire assembly energized and ready to face testing head on. Students and staff even joined in for a cheer, chanting, “ISTEP, ISTEP! We’re gonna beat ISTEP!” right along with cheerleaders.
The whole school joined in for a rousing version of the South Decatur school song, which students have been learning in music class.
The SDES student council did a cheer with study tips for students, advising them to get sleep, eat breakfast, read carefully, take their time, do their best, and believe in themselves.
The teachers and staff comically recreated the lyrics to “Ice Ice Baby” into a test themed “ISTEP Baby!”
In addition to the video, the teachers and staff took to the floor for a special flash mob dance to “Push it to the Limit” by Corbin Bleu. The stands were filled with screaming, excited students loving their educators’ willingness to make themselves look a little silly to encourage them and make a special memory.
Students were dismissed soon after, leaving the gym full of energy and confidence. Assistant principal Debbie Reynolds told the Daily News that the pep rally was just part of a long lead up to test day preparation.
Bulletin boards bearing positive messages for students have been hanging around the school for weeks. According to Reynolds, when students walk past, they see the messages and are reminded that the whole school believes in them. SDES also purchased pencils with encouraging messages for all students in kindergarten through sixth grade because each grade has testing of some kind.