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NVUSD 11th Graders Take Free SAT
Posted 10/18/19

On Wednesday, October 16, over 1000 Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD) high school juniors took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) during class and free of charge. Historically students have had to pay to take the exam, which costs $17 and is administered on a weekend.

The PSAT is typically taken in preparation for the SAT which many students begin taking throughout their junior year and is an integral part of the college application process for many four-year colleges. Nationally, approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT each year. NVUSD’s free PSAT program supports a key initiative of the district’s strategic plan, aiming to ensure all students are college and career-ready. 

“Providing the PSAT free of charge and during the school day is crucial for increasing access and opportunity for many students who might not otherwise take the test. As important though, is what teachers and administrators witness after students complete the test. There is a notable increase in engagement around the college process, students begin to inquire about how to improve their scores, and the path to college starts to emerge as a tangible option for them,” said Sarah O’Connor, principal of Vintage High School. 

Last year, NVUSD piloted the free PSAT program with a smaller group of students and based on its success, was offered to all juniors this year. The district is looking at ways to grow its college and career readiness programming, including expanding student internship opportunities, career technical education programs, dual enrollment, and bringing college and career readiness activities to the elementary and middle school levels.

“Today there are so many amazing pathways and opportunities for students after high school and we want all our students to explore options, set goals and to have an action plan for the future. Completing the PSAT, is a step forward on the college path that some students might not have considered before,” said Mary Ann Valles, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services.