Failing grade: Coronavirus fears cancel some SAT exams

BAY RIDGE — Parents who spent thousands of dollars on test prep courses are furious that some private schools have cancelled the SAT exam scheduled for Saturday, March 14.  Parents and students were notified late Thursday, March 12 and were not offered alternate testing sites.

Among the schools to cancel are Xaverian High School at 7100 Shore Road and Poly Prep at 9216 Seventh Avenue in Bay Ridge.  

Parents found out through the rumor mill on Wednesday afternoon.  When the Brooklyn Reporter contacted Xaverian on Thursday, March 12, the school confirmed that the test had been cancelled and directed questions to the College Board website which listed the cancellation, noting, “A makeup cannot be supported at this test center.”

Xaverian also confirmed that it did not have a makeup date for the exam and verified that the school was still open for regular classes but was planning on closing on Friday, March 13.  The school added that all other events including school plays had been cancelled.

Parent Dani Muccigrosso went on the website to change her child’s testing site, and was unable to do so.  When she called the customer service number provided on the website, she was told by the representative, “It is too late to make any changes to the testing site.”

Muccigrosso asked if another seat could be found for her child within the Tri-State area and the reply was, “Sorry, it is too late to register at another site.” When she asked to speak to a supervisor, the phone call was cut off.

Kathy Morales, whose son was also scheduled to take the exam on Saturday, was disturbed by the way the situation was handled. “I understand that coronavirus fears are forcing schools to close, but other high schools are still open and it seems discriminatory to me that schools like Xaverian cannot make the proper accommodations.”

Morales continued, “Other high schools are open and will be administering the SAT. Now my child and others who registered at these schools that have closed are at a disadvantage. They could certainly leave three or four feet of space between the desks so the kids wouldn’t be so close to each other. The College Board should either allow all students to take the SAT or just postpone it,” she added.

Muccigrosso, whose son was also scheduled to take the exam at Xaverian, said that she was appalled by the lack of information provided.

“The College Board should cancel the SAT for all students in our area, not just some. We spent a lot of money, paying for tutors for our son to excel on this exam, and we want him to be able to take the test while the information is still fresh in his mind,” Muccigrosso told this paper.

“Without any other options being offered, we have no idea how long it will take for a make-up exam. It’s just very frustrating,” she added.

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