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LCHS juniors set new record in ACT scores

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COLUMN: On Educating LaRue County

By Ron Benningfield

  ACT results from last year’s LaRue County High School’s junior class revealed the highest composite scores since all juniors statewide were required to be tested as part of state accountability, according to the district’s assistant superintendent Amanda Reed.

LCHS’s composite score of 20.1 on the college predictor and admissions assessment exceeded the state average composite of 19.4. Maximum score on the test is 36.

LCHS subtest scores and their state counterparts were English 19.3 (18.7), math 20.7 (19.2), reading 20.1 (19.6), and science 19.7 (19.6).

Trend data

Five-year ACT trend figures are encouraging, according to Reed.

“When you look at the five-year trend, generally speaking you see a spike in the data in 2012, a drop in 2013, and then our highest scores ever in 2014,” she said. “However, if you consider a trend line for the full five years, the trend is definitely increasing.”

With the district focusing more on moving forward rather than looking back, each year administrators and teachers analyze results to consider what’s working, what’s not, and where adjustments need to be made. 

“When we analyzed our results in 2013, we were able to identify some contributing factors and make adjustments,” Reed said.

One of those changes was to invest in the TCA (Triumph College Admissions) prep program. 

“This online program is available to all LCHS students at no charge,” said Reed. “It’s a self-paced program students can use to identify areas for improvement and work on developing those skills.”

School staff also developed a plan to provide intentional time during the school day for students to work at their own level. 

Reed said the high school uses academic time for this purpose, but students can also use the program outside of school hours to further develop their skills. 

“We are doing more with student awareness and goal-setting for ACT, and we are fine-tuning our instruction and assessment strategies,” she said. 

Additionally, teachers use professional learning community time on Friday afternoons to study student formative data and develop instructional plans to help bridge the gap. Students with similar needs will be grouped the next week during academic time to provide additional time to focus on that specific need.

The state department of education will release results of individual schools across the state with The School Report Card in late September or early October.