"What exactly can I do with this?"
"It became increasingly expensive to offer the same level of services for the gold card, to be part of the gold card club, than we had anticipated," said Dr. D'Agostino in regards to the financial issue. "There aren't a lot of schools that do this, and there still is a cost to us for doing us. So we just think that we have to keep the program going while being financially responsible as well."
As a result, some of the benefits changed over the course of the past year. Dances and some sports events no longer became free, with the exception of Prom. This year, the benefits have been changed and whittled down.
"The school could not continue to afford free admission to all dances and athletic events," said activities director Ms. Scott.
According to Ms. Scott, not all of the benefits have been set in stone. As of now, gold card benefits include free admission to the Back to School and Blacklight dances, reduced ticket prices for Homecoming and Prom, and a front-of-the-line cafeteria pass.
This year, the gold cards were even more anticipated than they were last year, due to the fact that they came out in December rather than September, as they were last year.
"It's just because we're running a little behind schedule, it's been a very busy year this year. There have been more issues than we have had in the past, unfortunately. We're always working to try to improve; we'll try to get test scores a little bit sooner and try to evaluate them a little bit sooner, and get that information out to people sooner as well," Dr. D'Agostino commented.
Students have met the card with mixed reactions.
"I really don't see any advantages to it, I never see anyone use it," said junior Carlos Valdez
"I don't think it's worth it anymore," said junior Austin Beall.
"In my opinion, I believe the gold cards are a great way to motivate students to succeed in their CSTs," said senior Jesus Estrada.
Despite the opinions of the student body, the school administration remains firm in its belief that this card will encourage students to work hard and succeed on the CSTs in May.
"I think the purpose of the gold card is to show that we appreciate the hard work that students do, and we want to acknowledge them by being part of the exclusive club," Dr. D'Agostino said. "We just want kids to challenge themselves at the highest levels of their ability."