COVID-19 Update: Elmhurst schools will remain closed through April and AP testing will happen at home
April 1, 2020
On March 31, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the stay-at-home order, which was set to expire on April 8, would be extended until April 30. With this order, all schools within the Elmhurst CUSD 205 and all private schools will remain closed through the end of April. Due to this extension, E-Learning, which began for York students on Monday, will be continued throughout the duration of the order.
“The State is using the term ‘Remote Learning’ to encompass all distance learning activities,” Elmhurst CUSD 205 Superintendent David Moyer said. “This will continue throughout the duration of the order, primarily in the form of E-Learning for most students. The District anticipated an extended closure and is finalizing plans in real-time. There will be additional communication to families later this week.”
While the order does not currently extend into May, no one is quite sure when quarantine measures will be relaxed, and therefore the future for events such as prom and commencement is uncertain.
“The District has inventoried the decisions that will need to be made [about major events such as graduation],” Moyer said. “But it is too soon to consider definitive plans about events that are that far out. Things are changing rapidly, and the immediate priority is to ensure that our students and employees are safe and that we preserve the continuity of education in D205.”
As the District continues to deliberate about future plans, the College Board, which controls Advanced Placement testing, has decided to administer AP tests at home. In a normal testing situation, the tests are on paper with both multiple-choice and free-response questions. This year though, the tests will only have a 45-minute free-response section to be taken online. The tests also will not cover all usual material, and will not include questions from certain units. In addition, the College Board will allow students to cancel a test without a charge. While all of these changes are made to benefit students, potential cheating concerns the College Board.
“I’m definitely somewhat concerned about people cheating on the [AP] tests because there is no way to enforce any regulatory guidelines,” senior AP student JD Devine said. “As a result, students can look up [answers and formulas] online, or even FaceTime other students taking the same test. Since the AP tests are generally curved a certain amount, kids that don’t know the material but cheat will get similar scores compared to kids who have studied and know the material well and therefore don’t need to cheat, which doesn’t seem entirely fair.”
While the tests have not yet been fully developed, the College Board has stated that they plan to use plagiarism detection and other security tools to help prevent and catch cheating. It has yet to be seen how the software will work, and it will likely be tested before the tests are administered.
Both the College Board and the District will continue to push out updates as decisions are made, and it is important to prepare for new circumstances to give rise to necessary decision changes.
Continue following This Is York for weekly updates regarding the Coronavirus. For more information about AP testing visit the College Board website and for general information about COVID-19 visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control.