Dear Jamestown High School families:

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! As we prepare to welcome students back to class, I want to make you aware of an important change with regard to who will be taking the PSAT-NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 this school year. Beginning this September, WJCC Schools is expanding opportunities for students to participate in the PSAT/SAT assessments offered by The College Board.

New this year, all 9th grade students will take the PSAT 8/9 at no cost to families. This test is similar to the traditional PSAT and SAT and measures a student’s knowledge and skills in the areas of reading, writing and math. The PSAT 8/9 will provide a snapshot of what students are already learning and provide a baseline measurement of college and career readiness. Performance on the test is also an early indicator of a student’s potential for success in rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses that are often taken in grades 10-12. By taking the PSAT 8/9 as freshmen, students will have early access to the College Board’s career exploration tool to receive personalized and targeted online resources and practice from Khan Academy.

Also new this year, all 11th grade students will now take the PSAT-NMSQT at no cost. In the past, this test was given to sophomores. Students will still have the opportunity to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship Program. However, the change will now also allow them to be considered for the National Hispanic Recognition Program, the National Scholarship Service and the Telluride Association, all of which are only available to students to take the PSAT-NMSQT as 11th graders. Another benefit to taking the exam in 11th grade is that the majority of students will have completed Algebra I, which is a large component of the math section of the PSAT-NMSQT.

Please note that although 10th grade students will no longer take the PSAT-NMSQT at no cost, any 10th grade student may register for and take the exam for $17. In fact, 10th grade students who are interested in applying to the Governor’s School for Science and Technology are encouraged to take the PSAT-NMSQT.

The testing date for both the PSAT 8/9 and the PSAT-NMSQT will be October 10. The exams will be administered during a schoolwide extended first block (7:30 – 11:30 a.m.). All 9th and 11th grade students will be automatically signed up to take the appropriate exam. Sophomores interested in taking the PSAT-NMSQT may register online Aug. 28 – Sept. 10 by clicking on this link:

Families with questions about the PSAT 8/9, the PSAT-NMSQT or the adjusted testing schedule should contact their child’s school counselor by calling (757) 259-3600.

Thank you,

Howard E. Townsend, IV