Pattonville High School’s Class of 2012 bucked Missouri’s trend for stagnate ACT scores by posting the school’s highest composite score in the district’s recorded history (more than 20 years). Last year’s seniors scored a composite of 22.5, compared to the state’s composite score of 21.6. The national composite score held steady at 21.1 for the second year. Pattonville’s 2012 score represented an increase of .9 when compared to its 2011 composite score (which was equal to the state’s at 21.6).
“This increase in scores is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our PHS staff, and I commend everyone for their dedication to improving ACT scores among PHS students,” said Dr. Joe Dobrinic, principal.
Pattonville’s improved score is very close to the composite score for one of the nation’s highest performing states on ACT. Minnesota topped the list for states that test more than 50 percent of its students with an average of 22.8. Pattonville tested 70.5 percent of its students and earned a composite score of 22.5. Pattonville High School staff and students made a concerted effort to better prepare for the college entrance exam by taking the following steps:
- The school created data teams for junior- and senior-level classes that focused on “ACT-like” concepts. Data teams are small groups of teachers who meet regularly to review student test data in order to make decisions about teaching strategies. They look at data to determine which strategies work best for their individual students and alter their instruction to meet the needs of their students. ACT practice assessment items are a part of classroom instruction in both math and English.
- Teachers placed more emphasis on higher-level vocabulary and thinking skills.
- Extra ACT prep class opportunities were offered for students, including an after-school class and eight free evening ACT review courses leading up to the ACT test. This occurred for every test given last year, except the June test.
- Classroom instruction was connected to ACT skills and concepts. In addition, students reviewed ACT test-taking tips during Pirate Connections, and a test-taking video was available for students to check out and review. Pirate Connections is a school-wide, twice-monthly program at Pattonville High School that fosters connections between students and teachers to help students better understand themselves and their strengths and to plan for their future in a career or at college. During Pirate Connections, educators work with students beginning in ninth-grade on the college admissions process. The curriculum for Pirate Connections is focused on academic, career and social development.