Update: The scores are in.
Palm Beach County administrators report the box of AICE exams that took a summer-long detour into Canada, made it to the UK and have been graded. Santaluces High received the scores Thursday, they report.
Original story August 16, 2018:
Score a victory for the United Parcel Service. After causing no small amount of angst in nearly 300 Santaluces students who learned this week that the folks in brown had lost their college credit exams, the UPS rallied Thursday morning. The box of tests was found in Canada.
Montreal, to be exact — some 3,200 miles and several weeks off course from their destination at a grading center in the UK.
The students took the exams last spring after championing through the more rigorous curriculum designed by the University of Cambridge in England and dubbed AICE for Advanced International Education.
Tuesday, students expected to learn their scores, but instead Principal Tameka Robinson was forced to break the news that the exams were lost. The school was working with UPS tracking to find the missing box, but if that didn’t work, she raised the specter of a retake.
In a letter to parents, Robinson put blame squarely on UPS.
“This is a result of an error on behalf of UPS Worldwide Servcies Waybill,” Robinson wrote. “I apologize profusely for the position this has placed on many of our students.”
Students reported spending hours prepping for the first test, and the possibility of spending Saturdays re-visiting the material more than two months’ in the rearview was not one all embraced.
About 800 Santaluces students are enrolled in AICE courses and take one or more exams for both high school and college credit in a variety of subjects, the district reports. The exams in question were taken by 260 students and included all of those in International History and some of those in AICE General Paper – both courses commonly taken by students in ninth and 10th grades.
All of Palm Beach County’s traditional high schools offer AICE courses. In the past school year, about 19,000 students took AICE exams, some sitting for more than one, according to Mark Howard, the district’s chief of performance and accountability.
Howard said he couldn’t recall any other instances of missing exams since the AICE program was introduced to Palm Beach County in 2010 at Boca Raton High School.
“These types of cases are incredibly rare, and we deeply sympathize with the affected students,” Thomas Rodgers, spokesman for Cambridge in the U.S., said in a written statement Wednesday night – before the box was found.
Cambridge’s U.S. office is in New York City, but the exams are scored in the UK, Rodgers said. Cambridge is tracking the package, Rodgers said. Once it arrives, the scoring and grading will be expedited, he said.
The exams are strictly essay answers – no multiple choice, so grading with the associated quality controls takes time.