The Union School District will offer one free college assessment test to high school students after the school board approved a proposal at its January meeting.
The move is in response to the state cutting funding that paid for and required juniors to take the ACT test.
The school board approved a proposal from Union High School Principal Amy Kain to continue that commitment with the addition of SAT tests during its January meeting.
The assessment proposal asked the board to approve paying for an SAT or ACT test once at no charge to the student or the student’s family.
Kain said continuing to offer some sort of free assessment to her students through the proposal was the best way to continue the school’s commitment to furthering education. She added that including the SAT gives students who aren’t interested in the ACT more options.
“I’m excited that we’re focusing on all types of kids and giving them that opportunity,” Kain said.
The proposal also asks for the tests to be given during a school day, making it easier for students who would otherwise need to travel.
Kain noted that the free testing can also benefit the school district in that students will be encouraged to take a college entry exam, which count toward the district’s annual test scores.
The ACT and SAT assessments during the school day will cost the district $37 and $46 per student, respectively.
The ACT tests students on four different subjects: reading, math, English and Science. The SAT, however, only tests students in three subjects: reading, math and writing and language.
Eventually, Kain said, the high school will add the ACT WorkKeys test, a skills assessment for those who are interested in or are currently working for employers that place an emphasis on the National Career Readiness Certificate, to the free offerings.
Career readiness for students who aren’t planning to attend college has become more and more important, Kain said. She said adding the WorkKeys test to the school’s free offerings will further help students who don’t plan to go to college with career placement after graduation.
“It’s a different mindset. It used to be back in the day that everybody was going to college. We know now that’s not for every kid,” Kain said.
The free ACT in-school test is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3, with a make-up test scheduled Tuesday, April 24. The SAT tests have yet to be scheduled but will take place in either March or April of this year.