DACT scores are on the minds of all high school administrators. In 2018, the state ACT average was a 20, and only 22% of Missouri students met all four benchmark goals. The ACT is a curriculum based test, and the foundation for scoring well on it is laid in the classroom. Content teachers in English, math, science, and the social sciences are the experts who can best prepare students for the ACT. They know the subject matter, and they can readily learn the structure, content, and test taking strategies that will boost their students’ scores.
Focus on Learning partnered with Monett High School to present a break out session at the Spring 2019 MoASSP conference: Boot Camp Success in Raising Students’ ACT Scores. Monett teachers participated in both the Teaching for ACT Success (TFS) developed for classroom teachers and the Teachers as ACT Coaches (TAC) offered to a core group of English, math, and science teachers who actually coached the ACT. After completing the Focus on Learning training, Teachers in Monett took over the planning and development of the 3 day ACT Boot Camp offered last year and this year’s Boot Camp offered over the course of the year. The jury is out as to which group did better. This year’s Boot Camp trainees are just getting ready to take the April ACT. Overall, both participating teachers and students found the Boot Camp helpful and productive. The training raised students’ scores.
Presenters for the break-out session were Dr. Ene-Kaja Chippendale from Focus on Learning Center and David Williams, Principal, and Stephanie Heman, Vice Principal, of Monett High School. Monett High School is committed to doing all it can to boost students’ scores, recognizing that a higher score can have a positive impact on a student’s future. A higher score opens more college doors, offers more scholarship assistance, and, in many cases, keeps students out of remedial classes in college.
Ene-Kaja Chippendale discussed the content of the ACT and what teachers need to know to help their students. Overall, the presentation highlighted the success of the partnership where trained teachers take over the school’s ACT preparation and students’ become the beneficiaries. Focus on Learning has been offering ACT prep for students and teacher training for the TFS and TAC workshops. David Williams and Stephanie Heman discussed the process of training the teachers and the pros and cons of the Boot Camp implementation.