East uses ACT prep course to raise scores

The On to College ACT preparation program will be introduced to Bellevue Public Schools. The curriculum will be integrated starting in the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year at East and West high schools.

The program is designed to help students improve their ACT scores. Senior Shelby Van Holland participated in the program on her own during her junior year of high school.

“My score went up three points because I had someone teaching me techniques rather than me just studying old questions. I think the program will help students who want to boost scores and want to improve,” Van Holland said.

There will be courses for freshmen and sophomores as well. These courses will include video lessons and activities to help students learn techiniques and study styles for test taking.

“Now, most students at Bellevue East don’t have as high of a score as I do, so I think that this program will definitely be helpful to the vast majority of students, due to the program being seemingly designed for students looking to improve their score,” junior Elias Ervin said.

Next semester’s schedule will change to allow students to learn each lesson from the program. Each class period will be cut down two minutes and five minutes will be shaved off of a lunch passing period. This allows for a 45 minute GPS or advisory period every day. GPS will be on Monday and Friday. The On to College study days will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Wednesdays will be a regular advisory day.

“I hope it isn’t too boring, as I hate to keep mentioning this, but the program isn’t designed for people like me with a high score already. I hope the program turns out to be what happens and scores improve across the board,” Ervin said.

On to College offers many different courses for individuals on their website. From online to one-on-one, students have a variety of options to choose from. One course for one specific test date is $149.00. This package includes 12 lessons which are then divided into two 20 minute videos. To cover the cost, Bellevue Public Schools paid $30,530 with the Bellevue Public Schools Foundation providing half of the cost.

“If we see results, if we feel that student scores are able to move up and it’s a benefit for our students, and if it works with our scheduling is obviously number one. Obviously if it’s not working or it’s not a benefit, we wouldn’t do it. We’ve got to see what those results look like and we’ll track that,” Principal Jeffrey Wagner said.

Wagner said the hope for On to College is to help students raise their ACT scores and provide an equal opportunity for all students to do well. John Baylor’s goal is to help families and schools create 2 to 4-year college graduates with minimal debt.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our students to be able to participate in this program at no cost to them or their family,” Assistant Principal Susan Jensen said. “The program has proven to help students see anywhere from a 3 to 5 point jump in scores; if students take the program seriously. Hopefully all of our students will see this as an opportunity,” Jensen said.