ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — TCAP tests have begun and because of a new law, third graders who do not score high enough could be held back.

For those students, this means the test has never been more important. This is putting a lot of stress on parents and their kids.

The Anderson County School System is doing its best to give students and their parents resources to minimize the stress that can come with standardized testing.

“We just want to make sure they’re equipped with the confidence they need to go through and take the assessment and do their very best job, and in the end, they are more than a test score,” said Norwood Elementary School Principal Lyndsay Foust.  

Students and staff at Norwood Elementary School have been preparing all year both mentally and physically for TCAPS. 

“We want our students to know how smart they are and how loved they are and how we know how much they worked this year. We’ve just been trying to put everybody at ease, the teachers and the students to feel confident, know what’s going on, and not to be too stressed,” Foust said.

Elizabeth Evans, the school counselor at Norwood Elementary, said throughout the school year, they’ve been getting into small groups and talking to students about the difference between healthy and unhealthy stress.

They’re also planning fun activities after testing is over each day to give the students something to look forward to.

“They really want to do well. I think they want to make themselves proud, I think that they want to make their teachers proud, and I think that they want to make their families proud. And so helping them learn how do that is something we have to navigate with their age,” said Evans.

Mary McGown has two kids at Norris Elementary School on the other side of the county. She said her 3rd grader, Reid, is feeling the stress.

“He wants to do his best on his work and on his testing to show that he is either at his grade level or above grade level. And he tries really hard because he knows, that’s what the whole year has been,” said McGown.

McGown said Reid has been on the A-B honor roll all year but they’re worried one test could impact his future.

“I don’t see how one test can tell me if he’s ready to move on to the fourth grade.”

There are several facets to the promotion and retention of third-grade students.

The law that is currently in place states that a third-grade student, determined not to be proficient in English language arts (ELA) may not be promoted to the next grade level without certain conditions being met.

This could include the student receiving additional interventions in reading.