CUSD to offer free SAT/ACT prep for juniors

Many college-bound high school students know that ACT and SAT tests are a critical component for getting into a four-year college. Because of this reality Carmel Unified School District is bringing in the Princeton Review tutoring program in order to help increase CHS students chances of getting into a four-year college.

According to CHS counselor Darren Johnston, the Princeton Review is well known for offering the best service and test results, and the Princeton Review program itself guarantees at least a 150-point score improvement

“I am excited that we are using this program, but I am more excited to know that there are so many students already signing up,” CUSD chief academic officer Edmund Gross says.

According to Gross, 90% of juniors in AP classes have already signed up for the Princeton Review program. For an individual student the Princeton Review program can cost up to $1,000, but CHS is paying only $38,000 for the whole junior class.

“It is so great because the amount we are paying is what it would cost 38 students to use this program individually, but we get the chance to help way more, and it doesn’t cost the students a penny,” Principal Rick Lopez says.

There are many CHS juniors excited and ready to get started with this new free program.

“It’s really cool because now I don’t have to go out and pay for a tutor or buy a book and study on my own,” junior Joshua Dormody says.

Juniors in AVID are also getting ready to make use of the Princeton Review.

“We were going to spend a lot of money for a tutor to come in only three times, but it is really good that we don’t have to do that now,” AVID teacher Marc Stafford says. “Many of my students are happy to start using this because they know how important this is especially if their grades weren’t that good before. This is a way for them to make it up.”

All junior AVID students are signed up for the program, and the whole class will go to the tutoring lessons every block day in place of their normal tutorials.

According to Johnston, there have been other ACT/SAT preps offered at CHS, but they have had little success and cost students money out of pocket.

“This has been something Mr. Schatz and I have wanted to do for a very long time, and it is something parents have been asking for,” Johnston says. “Students can really use this program and be prepared for their ACTs and SATs, and with the help of our district administration and overwhelming support of our school board, we have finally seen that dream realized.”

The Princeton Review tutor will be at CHS every block day starting the first week of February. Juniors who have study halls or are teacher’s aides will be signed out of whichever block period they have free to join the test prep course.

For those juniors who do not have a study hall or are not teacher’s aides, the program will also be offered after school and during office hours, although the course offered at office hours will only be 45 minutes of the 90-minute lesson.

“This is so far above and beyond what most districts do to prepare their students for college,” Johnston says. “Most students would be charged the full $250 to $1,000 for a course, or just buy a book and study on their own.”

During the spring, the ACT test prep course will be offered, and the SAT course will be offered in the fall.

Lopez says, “This is a tremendous opportunity for our students, and I encourage every junior who can work it out in their schedule to do this program.”

-Elexis Perez