School board backs SAT bootcamp

The Catalyst SAT Bootcamp, a workshop to help students prepare for the SAT, will be available for Naugatuck High School students this year. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — A program to give students an edge on the SATs is coming to Naugatuck.

Naugatuck High School Principal Janice Saam spoke to the Board of Education during its regular meeting last Thursday about the Catalyst SAT Bootcamp.

“What they [Catalyst] do is run a weekend boot camp, which would be four hours on Saturday and four hours on Sunday, the weekend before the SAT,” Saam said.

She explained that the bootcamp provides testing strategies and answers questions such as what students should do when they get stuck on a questions, whether it is better to fill in a question they don’t know or just leave it blank, and what kind of questions can you expect on the test.

“Catalyst’s SAT Bootcamp is a one-weekend workshop that arms students with go-to strategies for every question they’ll encounter on the day of the test,” according to its website.

Saam felt this program would provide additional help to students who were worried about what to expect from the test as well as the answers to the questions.

“Many of our students get bogged down in the strategies of taking the test rather than the information they need,” Saam said.

She said that it is complimentary to the Kaplan SAT prep class that the school currently offers.

“What I like about this one is that it’s short. It’s eight hours on the weekend, rather than the typical SAT class, which usually runs two weeks,” Saam said. “This one is also $165, which is much more affordable than the usually $400 to $500 that the usual SAT prep courses charge.”

Board of Education Chair David Heller was concerned about the opening the school during a non-weekday.

“Would we be running the program anyway when the school was open so we wouldn’t have any additional custodial cost,” Heller asked.

Saam explained that the program provides the school $300 towards the cost of operating the building each week the bootcamp runs.

“They will also allow us, if we choose, to invite area towns. Our neighboring schools might benefit,” Saam said.

The board voted unanimously to approve the Catalyst SAT Bootcamp.