WEST ORANGE, NJ — After hearing a comprehensive presentation from WOHS Principal Hayden Moore and his administrative staff,The West Orange Board of Education (WOBOE) approved a plan to make the SAT preparatory class mandatory for West Orange High School (WOHS) students on Monday.

“This course will allow students to gain a comfort level and familiarity with the test,” said Moore. “This will help them have greater success with the test, and be able to get into top universities.”

He said the goal is to raise SAT math scores by 5 percent and language arts scores by 4 percent. Currently, only 67 percent of WOHS students taking the SAT exceed the benchmark set for the language arts. This compares to 71 percent statewide.

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For math, the numbers are lower. Only 40 percent of WOHS students exceed the benchmark set for math, compared to 53 percent who do statewide.

“We have a lot of work to be done, but we are committed to improving these scores,” said Moore.

The mandatory course will provide 68 hours of SAT preparatory work that will replace the SAT Bootcamp offered after school at WOHS. The new course will be available to all students, and it can be taken in either the tenth or eleventh grades.

Moore said this course will also be graded, explaining that this will motivate students to do well—which is not always the case with a pass/fail option, he said. He added that students with 550 or better on their PSAT will have the option to waiver the course, which combines the Khan Academy and the College Board as resources.

This course will be partnering with the Kaplan SAT Prep, which will offer WOHS students eight sessions at $799—reduced from $1000—for students who want 25 more hours of after-school support.