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Yonkers Students To Be Put To The Test

YONKERS, N.Y. – Yonkers is taking its college prep to new places.

Wednesday will mark the school district’s first-ever College Board Testing Day, providing free, in-school exams to every high school student.

Seniors will tackle the SAT, while 11th and 10th-graders will prepare with the PSAT. Meanwhile, ninth-graders will take part in the ReadiStep, a test that measures students' progression of skills.

“The District advocates throughout the community that our students must have equitable access to college,” Superintendent of Schools Bernard Pierorazio said in a statement. “This in-school testing event provides our high school students with the same chance to take assessments that will enhance their performance when taking their first, or repeat, SAT.”

Yonkers’ College Board Testing Day is held in conjunction with the College Board-sponsored SAT School Day program, taking place in limited districts across the country.

While the SAT School Day program invites eleventh and twelfth-grade students to take the SAT during the school day, Yonkers’ College Board Testing Day is unique, administrators say, because it expands outreach to ninth and tenth-grade students, as well.

School officials said the three exams work together, aligning to measure similar skills through common formats and question types in three basic areas: critical reading, writing skills and mathematics.

The hope is the exposure will help prepare students to score higher on SAT exams.

“Improved SAT performance has been proven to increase post-secondary opportunities,” Pierorazio said.

As a result of the planned testing, Wednesday will be a mandatory school day for high school students. The school day begins at the normally scheduled time, 7:45 a.m. Dismissal for ninth, tenth and eleventh-grade students will take place at 11:30 a.m., and twelfth-grade students dismiss after the completion of the SAT exam.

While College Board Testing Day is the district’s newest attempt to make college a reality for Yonkers students, it isn’t the only initiative. This summer, students were introduced to college life with workshops on the campuses of area colleges like Mercy and Sarah Lawrence Universities.

College fairs and informational programs have been hosted at the secondary schools, and the "College Is in My Future" campaign introduces the district’s youngest scholars, its prekindergarten and kindergarten students, to the idea of college.

“These efforts are supporting the continuation of our philosophy to make every child college-ready,” Pierorazio said at a recent Board of Education meeting.

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