The 2014 graduating class of Ray-Pec High School scored well above the state average on the ACT. Graduates of 2014 earned an average score of 22.4 as compared to the average state score of 21.8. The 2014 ACT score is only .1 below the 2013 high-water mark of 22.5 for Ray-Pec. Approximately 76.5 percent of the 2014 class took the ACT, compared to 73.6 percent the year before.
“While we always want to see our scores increase, we are pleased that we are continuing to see an increase in the percent of students who are taking the ACT while maintaining a high average,” Ray-Pec Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services Al Voelker said. “Our challenge is to continue to provide a quality education and a wide range of courses that best prepare our students for their future.”
This challenge comes even more to the forefront as districts across the state prepare to implement Missouri’s revised assessment plan, which includes administering the ACT to every junior Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at no cost to families. The district implements several strategies to support students as they prepare for the ACT, including
• Counselors, administrators and teachers encourage intermediate and middle school students to enroll in challenging and rigorous coursework. Research shows that when students take advanced/college preparatory classes, there is a correlation to higher ACT scores.
• The ACT Princeton Review is offered at RPHS before each ACT test. This review includes six tutoring sessions and is available for a fee.
• A free ACT course is offered to RPHS students who have taken the ACT at least once and whose score falls below a certain benchmark. The course is open to students who meet those criteria and wish to re-take the exam in hopes of earning a better score. Students are given specific content instruction and test-taking strategies.
• High school staff members are encouraged to utilize ACT-type questions in the classroom to provide students additional practice.
• The district administers several tests in an effort to better prepare students for the ACT and provide some predictive information regarding their scores. In the past, these tests were the EXPLORE at 8th grade and the PLAN at 10th grade. ACT has changed its lower grade level test to the ASPIRE, which will be administered to 8th and 10th graders this year.
• Juniors at RPHS may sign up to take the PSAT, and the high school tests approximately 200 juniors each year. The PSAT is a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship and also gives information in regards to a student’s academic achievement.
• All juniors who do not sign up for the PSAT are encouraged to take the COMPASS test. This assessment is given by the Metropolitan Community Colleges (MCC) and results are used to determine the level of classes in which an incoming college freshman should enroll.
The ACT has four measurements in the areas of math, English, reading and science. The average scores for Ray-Pec graduates were math, 21.9; English 22.1; reading, 22.6; and science, 22.4. As a whole, ACT scores are reported on a 36-point scale. The ACT is an exam commonly used by college and universities as one indicator for acceptance into those programs.