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Prep revokes use of school for SAT practice test

Updated 4:02 pm, Thursday, July 7, 2011
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Fairfield College Preparatory School last week revoked permission for an SAT practice exam to be given there today after learning the free test would be offered by a for-profit company.

A Prep spokeswoman said the school had agreed to let several alumni, now college students, use a classroom for what officials had been led to believe was an informal session. But permission was quickly revoked when school officials learned the alumni represented a California-based company that charges fees for SAT preparation courses and tutoring.

The company, which markets itself both as Ivy Insiders and Revolution Prep, issued a news release June 27 announcing the practice exam at Fairfield Prep was free and open to students of any school.

Based in Van Nuys, Calif., Revolution Prep offers two levels of preparation courses -- one for $599, the other for $899 -- plus one-on-one tutoring, according to the company website. The privately-owned company had annual revenues of $11.6 million in 2009, the most recent available.

Colleen Adams, Fairfield Prep's director of communications, said no practice exam would be conducted at the North Benson Road school today.

The alumni also improperly used a Fairfield Prep student directory to solicit its students to the practice exam, Adams said. The solicitation stated the school was "hosting" the session.

In a subsequent email to parents, Fairfield Prep Principal Robert A. Perrotta said the school did not endorse the program and apologized for the improper use of the school's mailing lists.

"Fairfield Prep is not hosting this program nor does it in any way endorse this or any other program which is not under the direct control of Fairfield Prep," he said in the email.

Although Fairfield Prep revoked permission to use its facilities last week, the Ivy Insiders website until Tuesday listed sessions of its $899 "hybrid" course as being offered at Fairfield Prep through Aug. 26. By Wednesday, it had been removed.

The site also listed courses at Notre Dame High School in Fairfield and in other Fairfield County communities including Darien, Norwalk and Stamford.