By Megan Miller, Editor
TRUSSVILLE – The Trussville City Schools System has released the last school year’s composite ACT score report.
The Trussville Tribune reached out to the Jefferson County Board of Education for scores from Pinson Valley High School and Clay-Chalkville High School, but it was said scores are embargoed until they are verified by the state. Once the scores have been released, the Tribune will release the composite scores.
Despite a drop in statewide ACT scores, the average composite score for HTHS has increased by a full point, to 22.5. Alabama’s average score fell from 18.8 a year ago to 18.7 in the latest report. The state average increases to 19.1 when scores from private schools are factored in. Trussville students also exceeded the national average of 20.8.
“Typically, average composite scores increase in fractional increments behind the decimal and it is a tremendous gain to increase by a full percentage point,” Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill said.
Secondary Curriculum Coordinator Dr. Jennifer Cardwell and HTHS Principal Tim Salem have focused on school-wide ACT prep during advisory period and during class, as well as in evening ACT preparation classes and the 30up Club, which recognizes students who score a 30 or more on the ACT. The highest possible score is a 36.
Scores have also gone up across the board in each individual subject, including English, math, reading and science. HTHS scores are also well above the state average in each of the listed categories.
In Trussville City Schools, 315 students were tested in 2015, and 361 were tested in 2016.
“Clearly, the ACT test scores are a measurement of our ‘end game’ in public K-12 education and all of the teachers and administrators in K-12 are involved in this journey,” Dr. Neill said.
Advisory teachers allowed opportunities for students to take practice tests during their advisory period each Thursday. They also created awareness by placing posters in the school encouraging to meet or beat a 23 composite score. Teachers and counselors emphasized the scholarship possibilities that come with higher scores, offered more resources to provide ACT prep embedded into classroom activities and teachers attended additional training to provide students with more support and strategies.
For the 2016-17 school year, TCS has put additional strategies in place like using Husky Hour to provide an ACT prep lunch and learn, continuing ACT prep in the evening, using 10th grade ACT ASPIRE data to help students see areas of improvement and continued discussion with all students about target scores.
“When you match the focus on content knowledge, scheduling during the day and test-taking strategies at the high school level with the dedicated professionals in place to implement these strategies, you have full potential to reach the ACT goals,” Dr. Neill said. “This is for the betterment of each student, the school and the community at large.”