MOISD high schools fall in line with statewide averages for ACT scores

REED CITY — When it comes to average composite scores for the ACT test, students at high schools within the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School Districts seem to be on par with students statewide.

Out of a possible 36 points, the average ACT composite score statewide for 2015 was 19.9, according to recently released data from the Michigan Department of Education. Of the six high schools within the MOISD, two were above that average, while the other four were below, yet close to the 19.9 score.

Big Rapids High School led the pack with highest average composite score of 21. They were followed by Crossroads Charter Academy at 20.7, Chippewa Hills High School with 19.6, Reed City High School with 19.3, Evart High School with 18.6 and Morley Stanwood High School with 18.2.

Big Rapids High School Principal Ron Pincumbe said the school is very proud of its students’ achievement on the ACT.

“I believe our scores are a direct reflection of the hard work and commitment that our students put forth in their academic studies, as well as the rigorous course opportunities we provide that prepare them to do well,” Pincumbe said.

Reed City High School Principal Monty Price said the average score was right around where he had estimated students would be.

“We were anticipating being in the 19-range,” Price said. “We’re pleased to see that and compared to last year, we are up almost a full point. However, you have to look and realize you are comparing a different group of kids each year.”

According to data from 2014, the average composite ACT score for that year at Reed City High School was 18.4.

To prepare for the ACT, students at RCHS from freshman to junior year utilize the academic center to work with teachers and practice for the test, Price said.

“Our teachers work hard and our students work hard in preparation,” he said. “We have seen the benefits of it.”

As part of the program, students take two to three practice tests similar to the real ACT leading up to their junior year when they take the actual test. The school holds on to that data, following the progress and estimating how well students will do when test time rolls around, Price said.

“Throughout the course we witnessed steady improvements,” he said.

Evart High School Principal Dennis Peacock was encouraged by the most recent average composite score, which was up two points from the year before.

"This is the highest composite score in the last six years for our district," Peacock said. "We had a dip in the scores for the class of 2015, but overall it's been an upward trend over last few years."

Although schools may have gotten accustomed to the ACT test, this spring, Michigan students will begin taking the SAT instead of the ACT.

However, RCHS has continued utilizing the academic center, with teachers following the same format they previously used to prepare students for the ACT.

Evart High School will do preparation for the SAT, but is focused more on incorporating learning into daily teaching rather than relying on test taking strategies, Peacock said.

"We're really trying to approach this from the direction of if we implement good, sound teaching and learning strategies, it shouldn’t matter what kind of test they are taking," Peacock said.  "Whether it's the ACT or SAT, they'll be able to do well."