Last-minute cancellation of SAT frustrates Forsyth parents

Forsyth parents are upset over the cancellation of a long scheduled SAT this Saturday at West Forsyth High School in Cumming. The school was also hosting a major track meet and could not handle both test-takers and the track audience.
Forsyth parents are upset over the cancellation of a long scheduled SAT this Saturday at West Forsyth High School in Cumming. The school was also hosting a major track meet and could not handle both test-takers and the track audience.

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

District says high school campus could not handle test-takers and major track event on same day

I do not miss the days of signing up my four children for ACT or SAT college admissions testing as it was always a challenge to find a seat at a nearby school. (Whenever they ended up at a school site that I had never visited, I did a dry run earlier in the week to ensure I could find it at 7:30 in the morning.)

So, I understand the Forsyth parents upset over cancellation of a long scheduled SAT this Saturday at West Forsyth High School in Cumming.

After hearing from parents about the test cancellation owing to a major track event scheduled at the school that day, I reached out to Forsyth County Schools.

“I have been communicating and responding to parents/guardians today about this issue,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, district director of communications and community engagement. “I understand they are frustrated and upset. We tried to schedule another location for this Saturday, but College Board would only allow us to add additional seats for June 5.

So how did this happen in a district where an overwhelming number of students take college admissions tests?

“To my knowledge, the double booking was discovered on April 26 and the school notified College Board immediately,” said Caracciolo. The College Board said it would either reassign the students for Saturday’s test to another site or refund the money and that it would communicate this directly to the students, she said.

SAT testing would bring hundreds of high school students to the West Forsyth campus Saturday morning, and the State Sectional Track Meet would attract thousands throughout the day, said Caracciolo.

“So, the principal canceled the event that impacted fewer people because the campus can simply not handle the volume for both events. The state meet was to be held at West Forsyth last spring but was postponed because of COVID, so the school has been booked for this for the past two years,” she said.

The school called the College Board to try to book another location in the county, said Caracciolo, “but as I mentioned earlier, they would only give us more seats for June 5. College Board notified parents/guardians of the cancellation on May 3.”

The overlap should have been noticed earlier, she said, “and for that we are deeply sorry which is why we emailed all parents/guardians today so that they could sign-up for the additional seats on June 5. They may also contact College Board to book June 5 at another location or to request a refund.”

“I have been here for 20 years and I cannot recall a double booking occurring for an SAT exam at our seven high schools. This one-time mistake unfortunately has created inconveniences for many students and their families, and for this, we are deeply sorry,” she said. “We will work with all schools to ensure that procedures are in place so that this does not happen again.”

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