College plans for students at two Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD high schools are in limbo after a shipment of International Baccalaureate exams was lost.
District officials say UPS lost the exams in transit, and more than 100 students are in danger of not receiving their IB diplomas for college credit.
Officials with the district met with parents and students Saturday morning to explain the situation, and they are also talking to IB program officials to try to come up with a solution for these students.
But in the meantime, many say this puts their future plans at college at risk.
“Our children are affected by this and it's just unbelievable,” mother Karen Kinler-Singleton said.
Parents and students at L.D. Bell and Trinity high schools are looking for answers after HEB ISD revealed that IB exams for 103 students were lost in the mail and never graded, putting their college plans in limbo.
“I understand human beings make mistakes, I do, I make them every day, but there is no excuse for not having a better system than dropping things that are so valuable in a drop box at the corner for UPS to pick up. That is beyond me,” mother Cheryl Bushman said.
School officials say the exams from the two schools were dropped in a UPS deposit box on May 9, but were lost in transit.
There are tracking numbers for the shipment, but the exams were never scanned into the UPS system and can't be tracked.
Bushman's son is among several students at Bell whose biology tests were lost.
“Unfortunately for my son, he is a biology major at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and so we have no idea what he's doing now because he's not going to get his IB diploma. He's not going to get his diploma, after all the work he did, and the work is ridiculous,” she said.
Bell graduate James Wright says he and his classmates invested hundreds of hours, studying and going to classes and review sessions.
He's headed to UT-Arlington next school year, but may not get any college credit now.
“It was all for nothing because one missing test means you don't get the [IB] diploma,” Wright said. “As it stands right now, we may not be able to get credit for any of our IB classes because some of the colleges say if you don't have the diploma, you don't get any credit hours.”
The district says they are not giving up on this, sending the following statement to FOX4:
"HEB ISD is continuing to pursue all available options for restitution for pending scores and diplomas for our students. However, IB is the diploma granting institution, and HEB ISD has no authority to issue a score for the affected subject areas or grant an IB diploma."
“They prepared for two years plus, they've known they were on this path to get this diploma and it's just such a terrible let down for these kids. My heart just goes out to them,” Kinler-Singleton added.
There is an option for students to re-take the exam in November, but many students will be off at college by then, in the middle of classes.
District officials say the superintendent is meeting with staff, and has a call scheduled Monday with IB officials, and they will continue working on this for as long as it takes to get resolved.
School officials also told students they will provide any documentation needed to explain the situation to the colleges and universities they plan on attending.