2010 seniors earn highest scores in school history on ACT

Sam Brennan, Ads manager

BV 2010 graduates had an average ACT composite score of 24.8, the highest average in school history.
The class scored higher than the state and national average this year.
The district average of 25 exceeded the state average of 22 and the national average of 21.
Principal Scott Bacon said that the teaching staff, students and parents had a lot to do with the rise in scores.
“We identified curriculum, and likened assessments with it,” Bacon said. “Students take learning seriously here because the next step for most of them is college. The parental community is very supportive and focused on academic excellence.”
Bacon said several classes help achieve high ACT scores, such as biology, chemistry, physics and any math class above Algebra II.
Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Brett Potts agreed that it was a combination of several aspects that made students successful.
“It is hard to put a finger on one thing,” Potts said. “We have terrific students whose first and foremost goal is to get ready for college.”
Potts said more information from assessments is also a contributing factor to ACT scores.
“We know early on where kids are in math and reading, and from this both teachers and students know what it takes to do well,” Potts said.
He said it speaks highly of BV that the 2010 scores increased while national and state averages decreased.
Senior Brooke Williams said the ACT preparatory class helped her improve her scores. She started out in the class with a 22 on a practice test and then improved to a 26.
“It was a lot of work,” Williams said. “It helped a lot, we learned our strategies and our strengths and weaknesses.”
Williams said her math section improved the most with the class.
Diane O’Bryan, a first-year ACT prep teacher, said she believes the class makes students ready for all parts of the test.
“First of all, we want students to understand what areas of the test you need to improve on,” O’Bryan said. “Then leave the class with strategies that work for them.”
Over the semester students come into school on Saturdays to take practice tests.
“The best part is the kids really improve their scores,” O’Bryan said. “For a lot of people it is the difference between getting scholarships.”
Bacon said the scores represent more than just doing well on a test — it shows the college-readiness level of students.
Bacon said 95 percent of last year’s seniors are in college, and 35 percent of them took an AP class.
“I want to encourage for more students to take that step in high school to prepare you even more for what’s to come,” he said.
Bacon said he looks forward to more ACT progress down the line.
“I’m excited for the direction we are going,” he said. “I truly believe it is just the beginning.”