The Bellevue School District (BSD) remains committed to hosting the SAT on select Saturdays at one or more of our high school sites, as we have done for many years. The district usually hosts three Saturday SAT exams annually, and we plan to do so during the 2020-21 school year. We recognize that the cancellation of the spring SAT dates tightened the window for many students, especially rising seniors. If it is necessary to expand the number of Saturday SAT offerings in order to increase access for our students, we will do so.
At this time, there are a great deal of unknowns related to physical distancing and limitations on large gatherings due to COVID-19. Because of these outside factors, BSD has not submitted an application for test sites or dates. When we have reasonable assurances from state authorities and local health agencies that we can open our buildings and host visitors for the SAT exam, we will submit an application. Most of the other host sites in King County are operating similarly and postponing their applications to the College Board to host Saturday tests.
It is important to note that BSD serves as a host site and the SAT is administered by the College Board.
- The College Board pays the proctors, collects fees and monitors the application of their rules.
- Students both in and outside of BSD have access to any Saturday testing that is hosted at one of our sites, or any site, and students sign up on a first come, first served basis.
- Students and families are encouraged to consider host sites that are outside of King County and BSD, given that some other counties have progressed at a faster rate through the four phases of Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start plan.
In order to assist our students and families with planning, before we submit our application to the College Board for specific host sites and dates, related information will be circulated to BSD high school students and their families alerting you of our goals so that you can monitor the College Board site for preferred locations and dates.
The district offers other tests during the school day – why not add the SAT?
BSD staff have looked into hosting a “school day” testing in the fall. After careful consideration, the district has opted not to offer the SAT during the regular school day. There were many factors that were considered when making the decision:
- The unknown factors due to COVID-19 and what our teaching and learning schedule and mode of instruction will be in the fall.
- Public Health – Seattle & King County and state guidelines and restrictions, including physical distancing requirements, potential building closures, required safety precautions and potential restrictions on large gatherings.
- While the district does offer the PSAT-NMSQT for juniors, the Pre-ACT for sophomores and the PSAT 8/9 for freshman, those are administered on Super Wednesday (October 14) as part of our comprehensive counseling curriculum. When test results are received, certificated staff facilitate follow-up lessons in select classes and work with students where they need additional help.
- If BSD were to offer the SAT during the school year, we would also need to offer the ACT, given it is currently student choice as to whether to take one or both assessments. Offering both would be at the expense of other curricula and/or instructional opportunities given that test administration time takes up to six hours for each test, depending on testing accommodations for individual students.
Also, significantly fewer colleges and universities are requiring the SAT next year due to the COVID-19 disruption of the school year. Other institutions, including the University of Washington, are permanently ceasing use of the SAT/ACT as part of the college application process, for reasons that extend beyond COVID-19.