Testing dates are nearing and once again Ville Platte High (VPHS) is asking the community - business and government leaders, parents, school supporters, etc. - to support its students by attending an academic pep rally, Friday, March 27, in the school’s gym from 12:30 to 3 p.m.
“Fashioned after the popular American Idol, this pep rally is going to be known as Ville Platte High’s Bulldog Idol,” Grace Sibley, Title One district supervisor, said. Dividing the students into two divisions, fifth through eighth graders and ninth through 12th graders, this competition will feature skits, cheers, songs, etc. The high school division will take the stage from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and the elementary competition will be from 2 to 3 p.m.
Sibley said students are being encouraged to participate in this competition and get motivated for the upcoming testing week, which will be split across a weekend, from April 1, 2, and 3, to April 6, and April 7. Educators hope the weekend break during the testing period will help students refresh their minds and perform better on tests like LEAP, iLEAP and the GEE.
Motivation is the key to this event, and educators want students to have some fun while being serious about taking these tests. In another project for testing, they have some incentives for those students who perform well on the tests. They explained tests are graded in three categories, basic, mastery and advanced, which is the “top” category on the grading scale. For those students who perform at the advanced level, they will receive money, a t-shirt, a gold medal and movies and dinner in Lafayette. Students scoring on the mastery level will receive a t-shirt, medal and a catered lunch. And for those scoring at the basic level, they will receive t-shirts and a medal.
“We’re focusing on scoring higher on these tests,” Sibley said. “We’re so excited about this academic pep rally.”
Sibley said they will create a panel of judges from the community and one educator to represent the American Idol panel, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi, and they will determine the winners of the “Bulldog Idol” competition.
Organizers also are looking for donations from the community to assist with prizes for those students who perform well.
LINCS coach at VPHS, Kelly Bertrand, said teachers are planning on entertaining the audience during the intermission of this contest. She said to show their support of students “and that we believe in them,” we will perform skits, cheers and songs.
Bertrand said schedules will be released once organizers see how many students are going to participate.
Sibley said students will not use instructional time to rehearse for the Bulldog Idol. She said English teachers will be ensuring everything is grammatically correct. Physical education classes will be used for rehearsing, and teachers will stay after school to work with students. “I will be working at home with students,” she said.
Bertrand has been assigned to assist the elementary teachers, and Lynn Deville will be working with the high school division to create agendas and ensure everything is on schedule. Bertrand said teachers already have been assigned to this project.
Regina O’Conner Thomas is helping to raise monies for the incentive part of this project. She said if anyone would like to assist them, please call her at school (363-3387), home (363-1381) or on her cell (831-2069).
Bertrand said it’s important to get parents, families and the community involved as equal partners in this venture. “We have to demonstrate how much we care.”
Sibley said, “We really want the community’s support.” She hopes the incentive side of the program will serve as another motivational tool for students to perform well on their tests.
Thomas said she thinks this is a great idea to motivate the students and she’s overwhelmed with it. “We’re going to do this pep rally and get everyone involved.”
And finally, Bertrand said, “I just think it’s important to show students that parents, the community, etc. are behind them and want them to do their best.”
If you’re interested in donating your time or monies or even participating in the pep rally with your own skit or song, call Thomas.