College Board investigates Flagler County SAT tests due to mask incident

College Board said students must wear mask during SAT

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The SAT scores of some students in Flagler County could be in jeopardy for not wearing masks during the test after a board member showed up saying they didn’t need to put on a face covering.

The district said school board member Janet McDonald showed up before the test got started this past Saturday to ensure masks were optional but the College Board which oversees the testing site said they are required.

“I did not speak to any students directly about masks, any student who made eye contact, I wish them well and best of success. I made sure the proctors knew there was a choice policy,” McDonald said.

McDonald said she was assured by district administrators that students would not have to wear masks during the exam this year but she said students came to her last week saying they were told they must wear masks.

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She said she showed up at Matanzas High School while students were checking in to speak to proctors.

“I did reach out to make sure that message was transferred to the site people and apparently it had not been,” she said.

McDonald said masks are optional in Flagler County Public Schools and Florida, which should outweigh the College Board’s requirements. She said she is hoping to go through the contracts with the College Board and district.

According to the national rules of the College Board, students must wear masks during the entire test and while on site. Those who don’t can get kicked out and their scores are thrown out as well.

The College Board sent a statement sent to News 6:

“We are looking into this particular situation and will make a determination in the best interest of the students who took the test.”

It could not give a timeline as to how long this investigation could last or how long it will be before parents or students get answers.

The district spokesperson for Flagler County schools could not comment on what McDonald said or didn’t say. They did say students were given the instructions as laid out by the College Board and only one student was given special permission not to wear a mask.

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.