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Putnam City Asks to Push Back Standardized Testing After Snow Days

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Fifth grade teacher Brett Payne is worried about more snow days because he says his students can't afford to miss any more school days. Fifth grade teacher Brett Payne is worried about more snow days because he says his students can't afford to miss any more school days.

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The possibility of more winter storms could mean more snow days for Oklahoma schools. Now, teachers are worried if students will be prepared for the upcoming standardized tests.

Just the possibility of snow has teachers and students wondering if school will be canceled, and if it is, that means one less day to prepare for standardized testing.

Some metro districts have missed at least one day a week due to cold weather, snow or ice since they've returned from Christmas break.

"It's kind of the joke with the teachers. We say ‘Five days of work seems like a lot to do right now,'" said 5th grade teacher Brett Payne.

Payne said his students can't afford to miss anymore school. Fifth and eighth grade Oklahoma students are prepping for a February 24 writing test.

"You find these things we still need to cover...so there is definitely an urgency or a stress to make sure we are ready and prepared," Payne said.

In April, elementary and middle school students across the state will also take standardized tests.

The snow days have teachers and students playing catch up. Every day missed sets them back.

"The biggest issue I've had with it is just that continuity of lessons, being able to continue a lesson we did maybe the Wednesday before we were out four straight days and coming back and having to re-teach all that stuff again," Payne said.

Not being fully prepared can impact scores. That's why the Putnam City district is asking for more time.

"Our district has made a request to the State Department of Education to move the testing time frame back a week and I'm sure we aren't the only district that has made that request," said Putnam City spokesperson Steve Lindley.

But even still, teachers say they have to make the best of the time they have.

"We've just got to take care of business right now and make sure we are as prepared as we can be," the 5th grade teacher said.

For some teachers that might mean more issued homework and for students who need extra catch up time, the district will have schools add more tutoring opportunities.

Oklahoma City public schools are also asking for an extension on their testing dates.

Besides asking for extended prep time for standardized testing, Putnam City's Board of Education also approved a snow makeup date in a special meeting over the weekend.

The original district calendar called for students to be out of school February 19 for parent teacher conferences, but now Feb. 19 will be a regular school day.

Students in the Putnam City district have missed a total of six days.

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