WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — School leaders at Sulphur Springs Elementary say they prepare their students all year round for the TCAP exam.

This year, they have been getting more concerns from parents. Some worry their third grader won’t test well and be held back.

Legislators passed the third-grade retention law that holds back third-grade students that don’t test proficiently in English Language Arts. However, retention can be avoided by retaking the exam and scoring proficiently or by participating in tutoring or summer school.

The assistant principal and testing coordinator for Sulphur Springs, Emilee Barnett, said the school system has worked to provide resources to alleviate these concerns.

“We have worked really hard to provide supports when we need those for students,” said Barnett. “To provide extra tutoring times. We’ve been blessed with extra tutors.”

They also have help progress meetings with parents.

TCAP procedures were amended to allow more time for students to test by request. This time totals 20 percent extra time from the regular testing time.

Barnett said students can request extra time too.

“During the test, they are allowed to ask for extra time even if their parents haven’t, so it’s really encouraging to let the students know, ‘don’t feel rushed. If you feel like you’re running out of time, just ask for more,'” said Barnett.

Johnson City Schools decided to automatically give that extra time to all of their students testing next week.

“If we’re truly trying to measure what students know and knowing that individual students are different, then shouldn’t students have every bit of the time they need to show what they can do?” said Supervisor of Instruction Roger Walk.

Walk said their students are prepared through their curriculum and through rigorous testing they conduct every nine weeks to track students’ learning progress.

“Treat it as any other day that we’ve asked you to show us what you can do,” said Walk.

TCAP testing begins Monday, April 17. The testing window ends on May 3.

Parents with an elementary school student in the Washington County school district can fill out a form for their student to receive extra time on the TCAP exam by following this link.