The Tennessee Department of Education is reporting the first day of TNReady testing across the state as a "success."

The testing window runs April 17-May 5.

Students in grades three through eight are taking paper assessments. School districts could choose whether to opt into online testing for high school students. The state Department of Education said 25 districts did so for some or all of their high schools. 

After the failed rollout of TNReady in 2016, the state switched test vendors for this school year. 

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said in a statement: "For a number of reasons – from the nearly flawless execution of shipping more than 4 million testing materials, to the onsite technical support provided by our vendor, to active engagement of state and district officials, to the success of this first day – we continue to feel confident that our students and schools will have a positive testing experience this spring." 
At Meadowview Middle School in Morristown, principal Karen Holweg said the first day of testing for sixth- through eighth-graders went smoothly. 

"The first day of testing went extremely well," she said. "The kids did a great job. They came prepared." 

To keep spirits high during the testing period, teachers at Meadowview are doing everything they can to spread positive messages. 

Jennifer Moloney, a sixth-grade science teacher, posted sticky notes on students' lockers with encouraging sayings. 

"I wanted that first thing that they saw to be a piece of motivation," she said. 

As students prepare to take the TNReady assessment for the second year, Moloney said she wants her kids to know that she believes in them. 

"I think, you know, last year was a letdown for them and so this year, you know, they knew that they could shine and do what they're supposed to do," she said.

Megan Starnes, a sixth-grade English teacher, printed motivational quotes on pencils for students to use as they take the test. 

"This [pencil] was the one that most of them used, and that was encouraging that they were using the pencil to give them a little motivation," she said. 

Starnes said the students are used to practicing with pencils, and while they would have been prepared to take an online test, the paper format may be more comfortable for them. 

"I feel like they're so accustomed to doing it on pencil that it was more of a natural process, something that they're familiar with every day," Starnes added. 

Students at Meadowview will continue testing throughout this week and will continue next Monday and Tuesday, but principal Holweg said she feels confident that her students are ready to succeed. 

"I know they are hardworking kids, and our teachers are phenomenal," Holweg said. "And I know they're going to do a great job."