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The Moore County Board of Education heard a report Monday from the team tasked with reviewing the ACT testing failure at Pinecrest High School.

The school announced in June they lost 440 students’ ACT scores, and the juniors who took the test will have to retake the exam. School officials said the missing tests were the result of “human error” and “appropriate personal action has been taken.”

Pinecrest High School Principal Stefanie Phillips started Monday’s school board meeting with an apology to the entire class of 2019 as well as the parents, family, and school staff affected by the lost test scores.

“I feel personally responsible for the stress and anxiety it has caused students and parents,” said Phillips. “It happened on my watch, and I am personally responsible for the administration of the tests.” She continued that she has scheduled two meetings with the rising senior class to personally apologize and begin to rebuild trust in the school administration.

Phillips outlined the immediate corrective action Pinecrest High School is taking.

1.  Testing Coordinator becomes a certified position.

2.  An Assistant Principal will provide direct oversight for the entire testing process.

3.  Two teams will be established; one for testing logistics and the other for test processes.

4.  The Testing Coordinator and assistant will be with all test materials until pickup.

5.  Establish a process to submit pictures of FedEx shipping labels at pickup.

6.  Regularly scheduled meeting to review status updates both before and after testing.

Currently, 102 students are signed up for the September retest along with ten students who took the test in July. Moore County Schools are covering all expenses for the retesting. The district is also offering an ACT Prep Class which 34 students have currently registered to attend.

The school district is providing support to the students and families affected including:

1.   ACT preparation class through Grad Point.

2.   Registration assistance for July and September test dates.

3.   Application for accommodation requests.

4.   Counselor meetings with students concerned about early admission.

Dr. Mike Metcalf, Executive Officer for Academics and Student Services, stated that the team reviewing the Pinecrest incident would conduct a comprehensive review of all procedures for all tests and assessments. This review includes training procedures and requirements, timeline, security measures, accountability procedures, logistics, online vs. paper and pencil administration, and student support services.

School board member Dr. Betty Brown recognized Principal Phillips comments and expressed her appreciation for her efforts. Board Chairman Helena Wallin-Miller thanked the review team “for their hard work this summer, and this is something we hope never happens again.”

The review team is scheduled to present their report by the October school board meeting.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.           Sandhills_Sentinel
Contact him at chris@sandhillssentinel.com or (910) 639-9303.

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