YORKVILLE – A few hundred Yorkville High School seniors were unable to take the Illinois state funded SAT test at school due to school building closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yorkville school district officials are trying to make sure it's not an issue again for the the 2020-2021 school year.
Nick Baughman, associate superintendent for learning and instruction for the school district, told the District 115 Board of Education during their Monday, Aug. 24 meeting the high school generally has an SAT testing date every spring. He said the proposal is to add a state-supported testing date for the fall.
"The recommendation is that all ninth, tenth and 11th grade students would then be on an e-learning day" for the whole five-hour day, Baughman said.
Baughman said the seniors' school day would be at the high school from 7:25 a.m. to about 12:25 p.m. to allow staff and administration to ensure that proper testing protocol is followed and that students are given accommodations as needed.
Yorkville High School Principal David Travis said that SAT test date for Yorkville seniors is scheduled for Sept. 23 this school year. He said it's his understanding that there are about four other area schools that will be trying to do the same.
"We think that this is the best option for our students," Travis said.
Travis said 460 high school seniors were unable to take the SAT due to school closures in the spring. He said the state has a requirement where high school seniors need to take the SAT before graduation – whether it's during the state-funded test date or during a national test date on the student's dime.
"That requirement is still there," Travis said.
Travis said that test date helps seniors for their college applications as well. He said the September date would allow students to get their test results back before application deadlines or to re-test, if they needed to.
"Which will help open up opportunities for kids," Travis said.
Travis said the other proposed date from the state in October would be the same day as National Merit testing, which would mean the high school would be at max capacity in-person for that day if they went with that testing date instead.
Board member Shawn Schumacher said he's glad that option came up from the state.
"Some of us on the board have students who missed it in April and now they're getting the opportunity to take it," Schumacher said.
District 115 Superintendent Tim Shimp said no vote was needed from the school board for the proposal. He said that's because this arrangement would mean it wouldn't be a day off for other grade levels at the high school, as it would have been under non-pandemic circumstances.
Travis said high school officials will send more information about the Sept. 23 SAT state-supported test date to families by end of the week.