District now offering free in-school SAT testing opportunity


Shriya Vanparia

Starting this year, the state is funding an in-school administration of the SAT without the essay portion. This allows students who may struggle to take the exam otherwise to take it at no cost.

Shravya Mahesh, Entertainment Editor

From this year on, all Coppell ISD juniors will have the unique opportunity to take the SAT during school hours at no charge. This takes place on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. 

Over the summer, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3, which created various education system reforms, including teacher compensation raises and classroom funding increases. Among these was a provision that grants funding for districts statewide to administer either the SAT or ACT, both without the writing portion. 

The district chose the SAT, as Coppell ISD more closely aligns with the SAT Suite of Assessments. This way, the district-funded fall administration of the PSAT acts as a precursor to the fall-administered SAT. However, due to this, the district will no longer offer a cost-free in-school ACT test date. 

Offering an in-school SAT allows the school to collect data on performance and college readiness specific to CISD students. Most testing data is disseminated by test date, so the district cannot see how all CISD juniors are doing as a whole. By administering the SAT in school, the district can analyze Coppell students’ scores to understand how curriculum compares with national testing standards. 

“The focus for us is [for the in-school SAT] to be a diagnostic tool of how our kids are doing,” Coppell High School Principal Laura Springer said. “Are we pushing them enough? Do we need to beef up our curriculum? Are we preparing [them] for the next level, which is getting [them] ready for college and going for a degree?” 

The test will be proctored by teachers with mostly junior students, as 75% of the class is expected to test. Those who choose not to will likely be relocated. More logistical decisions will be made once the final head count is in. 

“I anticipate a large amount would [sign up], simply because it is at no cost to the learner or the family,” CISD director of research, accountability and assessment Debbie Youngs said. “So why not take advantage of something that can help you prepare for taking another additional SAT or give you [a score] that you can use for your college entrance?” 

The deadline to sign up is today. This allows the state time to arrange for funds based off sign-up counts, as well the district time to arrange for learner accommodations. This must be completed enough in advance so all paperwork and approval or disapproval of accommodations can take place in time for the test date. 

Since the assessment is at school during school hours, transportation does not pose an issue. Additionally, the state funding takes the pressure of saving money off the hands of those students who may struggle to regularly pay for the test. 

“[Students] can take that test and an ACT and [if they] do better on the ACT, they’re not spending that money on a practice test,” CHS campus testing coordinator Dr. Rachelle Hill said. “They can go spend their money on the ACT and get those scholarships that they want. And lots of people just can’t afford it, so they don’t have to worry about paying for it if they don’t have the money.” 

Students can register through this Google form. Students requesting accommodations should contact Hill and pick up an accommodation form from room B101.