College & Career Readiness Day for Dublin High Schools

By

Katherine
August 25, 2017

Thanks to the collaboration between DUSD and DPIE, high school students in Dublin will now take college prep and entrance exams, proctored by their teachers October 11, 2017–during the school day at no cost to the student. In addition, no additional travel is required.
College & Career Readiness Flyer

Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE) is very proud to sponsor Career & College Readiness Day for all high school students in the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD). The opportunity to fund this game-changing program was brought to the DPIE Board of Directors earlier this year by DUSD Superintendent, Dr. Leslie Boozer. In March, Dr. Boozer shared a list of programs she believed would provide incredible opportunities for Dublin students. Specifically, she explained the huge impact of providing all students the opportunity to complete college entrance exams like the SAT or ACT. At our May Board Meeting, Dublin High School Principal, Maureen Byrne, presented a comprehensive plan illustrating how the PSAT and SAT could be offered in Dublin during the school day, affording all students a key factor toward becoming college and career ready.

The Date & Tests by Class

College & Career Readiness Day Wednesday, October 11, 2017 During the School Day Freshmen: PSAT 8/9 Sophomores: PSAT Juniors: PSAT National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) Seniors: SAT with Writing College & Career Readiness Flyer

Access to High-Stakes College Entrance Exams for all Dublin High School Students

Traditionally, college entrance exams are optional and are offered to students on the weekend at a cost of approximately $60 for SAT with Writing ($30 for PSAT). Students often have to travel to a testing location outside their neighborhood, which puts those without financial or travel support at a distinct disadvantage. They wake up very early to arrive on time for an 8 a.m. test and then attempt to stay focused for four hours in an unfamiliar environment. Instead, thanks to the collaboration between DUSD and DPIE, high school students in Dublin will take a test, proctored by their teachers, during the school day at no cost to the student. In addition, no additional travel is required. Four College Board (www.collegeboard.org) tests will be administered to our high school students:

  • Freshmen will take the PSAT 8/9, which helps students determine which areas they need to work on most so they are ready for college when they graduate.
  • Sophomores will take the PSAT, which highlights what they are doing well and areas to improve before they take the SAT.
  • Juniors will take the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), which is the same test as sophomores; however, it may additionally qualify them for the National Merit Scholarship competition (http://www.nationalmerit.org).
  • Seniors will take the SAT with Writing, which is the college entrance exam they will submit with their college applications.

We reached out to Principal Byrne to get her thoughts on this groundbreaking new program, which she hopes will become the norm in Dublin.

Why was it important to you to bring these tests to all the high school students in Dublin?

We want all students to see themselves as college bound. They may choose a different path but we want that to be their choice, not because they had no other option. It sends a powerful message to them if, starting Freshman year, they begin taking these tests. After taking the tests, students can access free online tutoring from Khan Academy and work on areas of challenge. That way they can have targeted intervention and be able to improve their scores. By the time they take SAT as a senior they will be comfortable with the format and feel confident. The tests also give DHS staff a report called "AP [Advanced Placement] Potential." This will help us identify students who demonstrate ability to do well in an AP class. This way we can encourage students who may not see themselves as "AP material" to take an advanced class. Finally, we get the opportunity to have longitudinal data to help us improve the quality of education for our students.

What are the benefits to your students of taking the test during the school day?

First and foremost, it allows students who may not be able to take a weekend test because of family or work commitments to take the test. It allows our students to enjoy their weekend. It also places more importance on the test.

This program includes free online tutoring to students. When will they gain access to Khan Academy?

Students will be able to create their own Khan Academy account after taking the exams and access tutorials in the areas they need. Khan Academy will import results and help pinpoint areas for tutoring.

Through DPIE’s efforts to unite our amazing community and local business to bridge the funding gap, we were able to fund this $50,000+ program. Please consider donating to or partnering with Dublin Partners in Education, so we can continue to sponsor programs which impact and benefit all the students in our district.