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NHS SAT Session Briefly Interrupted By Power Outage



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While Newtown High School’s administration of the SAT on March 23 was hindered by a brief power outage, Principal Dr Kimberly Longobucco said the day went “very well” overall.

As Longobucco explained at a February 15 Board of Education meeting, this year the state decided “that this was a good year to do the full digital implementation of the SAT,” and to provide that at NHS, the school was granted a two-hour early dismissal.

“This is a monumental task for us to take on at the high school,” said Longobucco at the meeting, “which also means, we need to do something else with our ninth- and tenth-grade students.”

While roughly 350 NHS juniors were expected to take the SAT, senior students worked at home and the school’s ninth and tenth graders participated in group events at Newtown Youth Academy (NYA) Sports & Fitness Center and at Newtown Community Center.

The two younger grade levels were bussed to NYA and Newtown Community Center for the day. The freshmen and sophomores participated in activities such as yard games, playing pickleball, seeing a hypnotist, watching a movie, doing yoga, and making things, like pottery and slime, according to Longobucco.

Back at the school, the NHS PTSA provided bagels for the juniors to eat before they took the SAT. Following the day, Longobucco said that despite the brief power outage “the implementation of the test truthfully went very well.”

In a letter sent home to parents on March 23, Longobucco explained, “This morning Newtown High School lost power while students were taking the SAT. It was confirmed that the power outage was a result of the construction site down the street. Students lost access to their test for roughly 10 to 15 minutes and then were able to log back on and continue. We immediately contacted College Board to report the incident and they provided us with the following information.

“All tests will be scored as planned and College Board will take note of the irregularity report and the elapsed time,” the letter read.

The juniors were given the choice to re-take the SAT on March 30, when those who were absent on March 23 also had a chance to take the test. Longobucco said a small number of students chose to re-take the SAT, and a quiet undisturbed space in the school was chosen for the March 30 administration.

Longobucco said the power outage was a “fluke” and the first implementation of the full digital SAT “went smoothly,” adding that it was a “good move” by the College Board.

Education Editor Eliza Hallabeck can be reached at eliza@thebee.com.

Newtown Community Center Director Matt Ariniello, left, and Newtown Police Department School Resource Officers Matthew Hayes, center, and William Chapman offer up popcorn at Newtown Community Center, where students could watch a movie on March 23 as one group activity to freshmen and sophomores. —Photos courtesy NHS
NHS students make “slime” at Newtown Community Center on March 23 as one of the group activities offered to freshmen and sophomores while juniors took the SAT at NHS.
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