North Shore parents upset with ACT retake on Yom Kippur

North Shore parents upset with ACT retake on Yom Kippur

A retake date for the ACT was set last week for Yom Kippur on Sept. 30, and some North Shore parents said they are angry about the overlap with a major Jewish holiday.

North Shore Schools Superintendent Peter Giarrizzo said during a Sept. 9 testing date at his high school, loud music was heard from a nearby home and distracted students during the college admissions exam. Proctors moved affected students to different classrooms, Giarrizzo said, and students were also given the option of taking the test at a later date for no additional cost.

North Shore parents are upset that an ACT retake date has been scheduled for Yom Kippur. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

“We relocated the students to alternate locations, but the music did not come from anywhere on the property of North Shore High School,” Giarrizzo said.

Heather Klein of East Hills told Newsday her son Benjamin, who attends Roslyn High School, took the exam Sept. 9 and said she is angry about the insensitivity of the new testing date.

“It’s the exact same thing as holding this retake on Christmas,” Klein told Newsday. “You have to decide on a test that will determine where you go to college or your religious beliefs? It’s ridiculous.”

The retake date of Sept. 30 was announced Sept. 11, and Ed Colby, ACT public relations senior director, said it was the only available Saturday for the rescheduled exam.

“ACT pays close attention to holidays when scheduling our regular national test dates,” Colby said. “When we are forced to reschedule a test date, however, our options are often very limited based on facility availability and other factors.”

Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar, beginning at sunset Sept. 29 and ending the night of Sept. 30.

Colby said any student who cannot make the rescheduled date will be allowed to change registration to a future test date for no fee.

Testing costs $46 for the ACT and $62.50 for the ACT with an additional writing section. Usually, a date change fee is $26.

Any high school student looking to apply to universities for an early decision will need ACT and SAT exam scores by November. The next nationally scheduled ACT test date is Oct. 28, and according to the website, scores take at least two weeks to be viewable online and up to eight weeks through the mail.

Scores for the Oct. 28 exam would be available no earlier than Nov. 14.

“We will work with individual students who need to test sooner to see if we can accommodate them,” Colby said. “So, those impacted students should contact ACT’s call center to talk to a representative who will help them change their registration if at all possible.”

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