Kentucky high school juniors have only one chance to take ACT: March 18

jwarren@herald-leader.comMarch 5, 2014 

Fayette County Public Schools central offices on East Main Street.

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Parents of high school juniors should make sure their kids are at school March 18 to take the ACT exam, according to the Fayette County Public Schools.

The achievement test used by colleges was to have been given to all high school juniors on Tuesday. But cold weather and icy roads closed Fayette schools and many others across Kentucky.

The Kentucky Department of Education has designated only one test makeup day: March 18.

State Education Department spokeswoman Rebecca Blessing said Wednesday morning that department officials have talked with the ACT organization about establishing an additional makeup date. There has been no decision so far, she said.

Officials began the discussions with ACT representatives about a week ago because of concerns that winter weather might close schools on the March 4 test date, Blessing said.

Adding a makeup date isn't simple because the ACT organization would have to prepare a new, different test to maintain testing security, she said.

Blessing said it wasn't immediately known how many school districts were closed Tuesday.

Typically, the state department of education establishes an ACT date every year, with a makeup date for any students who miss the main test date.

But with only one makeup date, any juniors who missed taking the ACT on March 18 apparently could be left out unless an additional makeup day is scheduled.

Michele Reynolds, curriculum and assessment director for the Fayette schools, said district officials are "keeping our fingers crossed" that an additional makeup date will be approved.

Roughly 2,500 Fayette County juniors are expected to take the ACT, Reynolds said.

Fayette Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said Wednesday morning that the district wants to make sure parents know about the importance of March 18. The district is preparing a message to send to parents, she said.

"At this point, we're just trying to inform all of our families that have juniors that March 18 is the makeup date, and to please make sure your kids are at school that day," she said. "Right now, we don't have any other makeup date."

The ACT is important because it measures what students have learned in school, and its results are accepted and used by four-year colleges and universities in deciding which students to admit.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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