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Photo of Patrick Henry staff during survivor challenge

For nearly 20 years, Survivor contestants have competed in highly-stressful situations and environments. Well, there is a new season of Survivor this year, and with it, a new twist.

Rather than increasing stress and competition, Survivor: Patrick Henry aims to increase student attendance and lower stress during testing.

"The purpose is to make testing fun. We want to do something different to mix it up, and the kids are just so excited," said Patrick Henry Parent Facilitator Betty Latty.

During April testing, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders join tribes and show off their tribal spirit by decorating doors and wearing different colored bandanas. The tribes start with 50 points every day. Points will be deducted for tardiness and absences. Tribes also gain points if they find the hidden immunity idol.

A tribal council is held at the end of each week and winners are announced. If there is a tie, teams face off in a fun physical challenge. The winner gets to have a Survivor P.E. class with competitive games and the chance to receive an award.

The Survivor theme motivates students to keep their attendance up even if they aren't testing.

"The Survivor challenge motivates everyone to show up and do their best. It also helps us to enjoy the month of testing instead of being stressed and despising it," said Student Council President Lyla Malone.

At the end of testing, total points are tallied and the tribe with the most is deemed Sole Survivor and awarded with free dress for a week, a special P.E. class and a pizza party.

"We are trying to take the stress out of the test with a little bit of Survivor," Betty Latty said.

Survivor: Patrick Henry isn't just for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Kindergartners, 1st, and 2nd graders will compete in Survivor during MAP testing.