July 18, 2020
On the morning of July 15, I notified ACT in writing and by phone that Trinity would not be hosting today’s test event. For reasons only ACT can explain, it did not notify examinees or place Trinity on the cancelation list until Friday evening. I understood that even on Wednesday the cancelation would have been frustrating, and I did not reach the decision lightly or without considering all the pros and cons.
While people of goodwill may disagree as to whether cancelation was appropriate, my primary concern was the safety of students and staff. At the beginning of this week, reported cases of COVID dramatically increased in Kentucky and other areas as well. At the community level, we also experienced positive test results. We were made aware of three positive cases at Louisville schools after a small workshop and athletic workouts. Local public schools announced they were not comfortable having students on campus in mid-August, and non-public schools were considering similar restrictions. At Trinity, we were adjusting a planned freshman orientation so that only 30 students would be on campus at a time. Based on all those circumstances, and weighing the benefits of offering the test in light of those circumstances, I decided I could not in good conscience bring 200 students and 25 staff members onto campus and into closed testing rooms for four plus hours.
As stated above, I emailed our test administration contact at 9:42 a.m. Wednesday morning. I received a call Wednesday afternoon from ACT and confirmed we would not host the test. On Thursday I learned ACT had not added us to the list of canceled sites and also was allowing examinees to print tickets that showed our site as open. I had Trinity’s communication channels send a notice to Trinity students informing them of the cancelation but unfortunately had no way to inform non-Trinity examinees (ACT does not share that information with test sites). Between Thursday and Friday afternoon I called our ACT support line well over 20 times and each time received a message that ACT was unable to route my call due to extremely high call volume. I emailed ACT again Friday but did not receive a responsive call until late Friday afternoon.
I have requested from ACT options for examinees to make up this exam, and I am happy to share them if you would like to contact me. Hopefully, I will have information early next week.