High schoolers have at least another week left for AP testing, but for some in Essex the first week started out a little chilly, literally.
Taking tests are hard enough, but try adding the chill factor.
“I took one this morning, it was AP Calc, and I thought it was going to be a lot colder so I brought sweatshirts and sweatpants,” says senior Spencer Sochin.
Monday was the first day of AP testing at Essex High School.
Students took their exams at the Essex Junction Skating Facility. The school picked the rink because it’s on campus.
“Students do not have to worry about finding transportation to and from an outside venue,” says Principal Rob Reardon.
He thought everything was fine until he heard complaints.
“The heaters which were part of the ice rink itself unfortunately were not on and that caused the temperature to be cool, around 60,” says Reardon.
The Vermont-NEA says testing in a hockey rink is “not ideal” for students. The association points to studies that recommends students test in an environment that’s between 68-72 degrees.
Students were quick to notice the temperature and told their parents and some of them took to Facebook.
“I said how did the exam go and he told me it was really cold and we sort of had an idea it might be cold because it was in the skating rink,”says Essex High parent, Michele Mercier.
Principal Reardon says he took notice. After Monday, the heaters were activated and the rink reached 68 degrees.
Students say they were glad to not have to layer up.
“It warmed up and it was 60-something degrees, so it really didn’t have much of an effect on me,” says student Spencer Sochin.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get the temperature where we needed to first thing Monday morning,” says Principal Reardon.
Some parents don’t quite know how the chilly start might impact their kids results. There is one more week of testing and the results won’t be back for a while.
“It’s hard to know and they’re really hard exams to begin with, so as much as we can do to make it a more focused environment would be great,” says Mercier.
Principal Reardon says the College Board also has strict rules on how close students can be while taking the test. He says that rules out many classrooms and school spaces.