Wayne County High School students are preparing for the ACT, one of the most important college prep exams that can lead to future academic and scholarship success, towards postsecondary opportunities.
Recently, students have been preparing to take this very important ACT test funded by the state, which happens March 12. During this date, all of the juniors will take the test since it is mandated statewide. This is a college entrance exam the state uses for accountability. Students can take the test more than once, and normally do to try and up their scores. They generally make several attempts since their individual score is so important to their futures.
Last year, Wayne County High School had the second highest ACT average the school had ever experienced. They are hoping to set the record this time around. “Our eventual goal is to have an average of 20, so we do have some work to do, but I believe we can get there,” said WCHS Principal Justin Alley.
“Even if a student’s goal is not college, they still should use this opportunity to put themselves in position to go if they decide to do so further in the future. We have all kinds of people in the community that found themselves going back to college later in life that they didn’t anticipate doing,” explained Alley.
“We have quite a few students who have scored in the high 20s and into the 30s on the ACT. We recognize them with large posters in the foyers of the school,” said Alley. ”I want to add as many possible recognition posters as we can get!”
With this in mind, the high school staff is proactive in preparing the student body for academic success. Local students get plenty of practice for the test in a variety of subject areas in their classrooms, not to mention a host of other customized opportunities to help them prosper.
The local high school staff have been working in multiple ways with grade 9 – 12 students to improve their performance, according to Media Specialist Carol Ford. Each day in class, content being taught and the methods/strategies used for the teaching of content are re-enforcing not just ACT skills, but various literacy and content area skills needed for success in multiple areas, explained Ford. However, with the ACT upon them, and as it remains one of Kentucky’s major assessment tools, particular attention has been given to help students be as ready as possible for this national test.
Some of the things Wayne County High School is doing to propel each student to their highest performance level are as follows.
In all English, Math, and Science as well as weekly in Biology classes, MasteryPrep Bell Ringer activities are done daily. These are short, focused activities that engage students in content area subject matter in an ACT style question/problem/scenario. This gives students time to focus on one particular item/subject and then develop a deeper understanding of that item as teachers then go over the item in detail in class.
CERT (the College Equipped Readiness Tool) testing has taken place three times during the current school year, according to GEAR UP Academic Specialist Tiffani Bertram. This test is given to all students in grades 9 – 12 and is much like the ACT. Students then follow up the test with instructional videos that correlate to specific test items/subjects to help explain to them the individual concepts that may have missed or not fully understood. Teachers use CERT data to help gauge their students’ understanding of content being taught and adjust plans and lessons as needed.
Additionally, intervention groups have been working on specific skills to help groups of students improve. Through CERT testing students who may need additional help are identified and then given the opportunity to participate in intervention/tutoring type settings to assist them in areas identified as needing improvement.
Bertram explained that CERT is a unique and comprehension assessment and remediation tool that is now being used by over 80,000 students in five states – continuing to grow year after year.
Besides working with small groups of students on ACT strategies and skills needed to improve their ACT test score, GEAR UP staff have been involved in all kinds of academic enhancement activities for all the high school students. They have furnished TorchPrep speakers to help in the fall and last spring on ACT tips. Their program has offered local students fee waivers for the ACT so they can take the test multiple times. The staff continuously serve as mentors, distribute sample ACT workbooks, and provide the ACT Academy to students.
Most recently, all of the Junior class participated in excellent Mastery Prep sessions March 6 and 7 at the Wayne County Public Library and the Aspire Center to fully immerse themselves in additional ACT test taking strategies and concepts. Students were divided into groups so the two public venues could accommodate them. The district treated the students to lunch on site.
“Our GEAR UP staff – Tiffani Bertram, Dean Sumpter, and Austin Shearer did a great job organizing the event,” noted Alley. “MasteryPrep gave the students an intense, focused, logical approach on how to approach the ACT.”
Additionally, Alley said they really appreciated Librarian Anne Garner and her staff, as well as Lonnie Chaplin and his staff for the meeting places. “We wanted to get students out of the school and in to another setting to use resources in our community, show the importance of the event, and get many of them in the new library.”
Private ACT Prep courses in the area are another option for students who are conscientious about raising their scores to get into colleges and take advantage of future opportunities.
One program available just for Wayne County High School students that is not a costly private program but a free online ACT Test Preparation Site, which they have subscriptions through KYVL (Kentucky Virtual Library) is courtesy of their school’s media center.
They simply go to www.kyvl.org, Then go to the Learning Express- College Admissions Test Preparation. Next, they will need to create a user account once they get to this page – Sign In / Register – This is an account for Learning Express only.
Accessing www.kyvl.org is through a paid subscription by Wayne County Schools for Wayne County students. Therefore, the district user name or password online cannot be posted.
Students may visit the library for the user name/password. Teachers may also post it on Converge class pages – as only students can access these pages.
Kevin Kimberly from MasteryPrep shared tips with students at the Aspire Center
(front) Junior Leah Bell and classmates worked on time practiced test
Juniors worked on mock exam
(l-r) Macie Adams and Jadyn Barker reading the questions
(r-l) Haleigh Criswell and Madison Coffey went through the mock test
Kevin Kimberly checked on students going over a timed mock test
WCHS Principal Justin Alley worked on a mock ACT test along with his students
Nate Helton answered a test question and received a prize from the facilitator
(r-l ) Ziyon Deboer, Demetree Hicks, Hailey Foster, Brandi Frost, Natalie Elam
Junior Ziyon Deboer works on a question
Master Prep Facilitator Sherry Morris lead the class
Students were engaged into the discussion
Facilitator Sherry Morris shared test taking strategies