William S. Hart Union High School District hosts the Special Governing Board meeting to discuss programs affected by the pandemic


Jessica Son, Ricky Rojas, and Alyssa Chang

   On Jan. 13, the William S. Hart Union High School District held a Special Governing Board meeting to decide the fate of different programs affected by the pandemic. 


   The first program up for discussion were the small cohorts who were allowed to be on campus during the pandemic. These cohorts mostly consisted of special education students who needed assistance over the school day, those who received D’s and F’s that needed additional support and English Language Learners. This system worked well last semester, but due to skyrocketing COVID-19 cases in early January, it was deemed too risky and the board unanimously voted to postpone the program across the district until Feb. 8.


   The board then addressed the topic of athletic conditioning. Initially voting to postpone their decision until the next board meeting on Jan. 20, the Governing Board then voted to resume on-campus athletic conditioning starting Jan. 27. 


   The final issue discussed by the school board was the January PSAT. Students across the district had originally been scheduled for the Jan. 26 PSAT date, but with rising COVID 19 cases, reevaluation was necessary. Though some members were worried that cancelling the PSAT would limit students’ options to study for the SAT and apply for the National Merit Scholarship, they were assured that students would have alternatives.


   Students can study for the SAT on Khan Academy, a free website that offers a variety of review materials for a wide variety of different subjects. Khan Academy offers full time practice tests, review materials and allows students to sign in with their college board account to get personalized study plans, if they previously took the SAT or PSAT.


   This year, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) changed the way students can apply. Typically, the scholarship is awarded purely based on PSAT scores, but because of the coronavirus, they have amended the requirements. According to information posted on the NMSC website, students can now apply using SAT scores, which is easier to take, as it’s held multiple times a semester. Students must submit an application to apply with an SAT score by April 1. Students must send their SAT score to the NMSC by Oct. 15 in order to be eligible. They also allow students to apply without any standardized test if they didn’t get an opportunity to take either the PSAT or SAT. For more information visit the National Merit Scholar website.


   Look out for more information regarding these programs at the next school board meeting on Feb. 3.