Borden sixth-graders gaining local fame for their ISTEP video PDF Print E-mail
A group of sixth graders at Borden Elementary School has been in the spotlight lately. 
In an attempt to get students and teachers excited about required testing, they made a music video.
The video is a remix of the pop hit “Royals” as sung by Lorde.
Ryan Hammond said the idea started in Christiana Pearson’s High Ability (gifted and talented) class.
“We were challenged to think of an idea to encourage students to get ready for ISTEP,” Hammond said. “We picked a song to make a music video to.”
Hammond said Kylie Bostock and Chloe Holtshouser came up with the lyrics.
“Ms. Hawkins, our principal, has seen some other schools doing videos, but in those they were mostly staff,” Pearson said. “We started brainstorming and decided we wanted the students involved and we though this was the group for that.”
Pearson said she introduced the idea to the class and wondered if it wasn’t too much of an undertaking.
“We made a list of songs and the kids voted and decided the one they wanted to do,” Pearson said.
Bostock said there was free time one morning and I told Chloe, ‘We know this song, so we need to come up with the lyrics!’ We went to the computer and we edited out words that didn’t fit with the testing.”
A new song was born!
The first draft took about 20 minutes.
The entire High Ability sixth-grade class took a look at the words and went through it together to get it just right.
With the lyrics complete, another student, Ethan Bilyk said they began planning on when and where to shoot the video and the choreography.
“Some of us wanted to film some of the video on the roof,” Bilyk said. “Ms. Pearson called Ms. Hawkins to see if it would be possible. She said yes as long as we don’t get too close to the edge.”
Pearson said the head custodian Jeff Hurst, was on the roof giving ground rules.
Madison Jared and Genevieve Zakrzewski are dancers in the group and handled some of the choreography.
The moves that weren’t choreographed by the students were moves that were filmed in the moment.
Liz Ross, said she thinks some of the best parts were the ones that were ad-libbed.
Kiara Wolfe said one of the more fun things for her was including the younger elementary students.
“We took some of the younger kids and made them our look a likes,” Wolfe said.
With the video complete it was getting rave reviews within the school, but it was the attention it gained outside the school that caught Pearson and the students by surprise.
The video actually was posted to facebook before the entire school got to see it.
Pearson said she posted it to the social media site during one of the snow days.
“I knew they were anxious to see it, so I posted it and tagged them and their parents in it,” Pearson said.
Wolfe saw the video that her mom shared and she started getting lots of notifications.
It didn’t take long for word of the video to spread.
Before long, the television stations in Louisville were calling to do a story.
Zakrzewski said it was exciting to learn they were going to be on the news.
Holtshouser said  even more than the number of people who have watched the video, they are just as amazed by how far it has reached.
“We looked at the statistics on the smart board and there are people from different countries who have seen it,” she said.
One person, as far as they know who hasn’t seen it is Lorde.
Holtshouser said they did try to contact her, but never heard a response.
The video served it’s purpose. The school was excited about the testing.
It also served another purpose in helping the high ability students learn a lot about videos and social media.
“It far exceeded our expectations,” Pearson said.
Even more than all the positives, they drew closer as a group through the experience.
“We got a lot closer,” Bostock said. “We are all really good friends now.”
If your one of the few people in the area who haven’t seen the video you can find it at or do a search for Borden Students Royals.