What’s in a number? When the number is an ACT score, the answer is: a lot.
Athens City Schools believes fundamentally that our students are so much more than a score. Each student is unique and has specific talents, gifts and a story that is all his own. ACT scores have become the basis for college admission and merit scholarships, and therefore are a de facto basis for opportunity. Athens wants our students realize every opportunity that is possible. Because of our deep commitment to supporting all students in achieving their goals, this means mitigating any obstacles that could stand in the way of opportunity. This is why everyone at Athens High School works hard every day to close the opportunity gaps for all of our students. One of the ways to close those gaps is to concentrate on scores. An excellent consequence of this focus on scores is a new group that celebrates these ACT achievements.
We give you: The 30 Point Club.
Members of this club earn their way in with a score of 30 or greater on the ACT. AHS Principal Dr. Travis Schrimsher, with help from their Partner in Education TVA, worked to create The 30 Point Club. “We have always honored so many achievements at AHS, especially those that have reached the highest levels. We felt that this was yet another way to honor kids for reaching such a high academic achievement and utilizing their gifts,” said Schrimsher.
The ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The idea, in theory, is to provide colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants. The ACT has four sections: English, Reading, Math and Science, as well as an optional 40-minute writing test. The highest possible ACT score is 36. The average national ACT score is 21. The top 25 percent of ACT takers score 24 or more.
The 27 AHS students in The 30 Point Club represent the top 5% nationally and the top 1% in the state. These are very impressive numbers.
AHS prepares students for the ACT in a comprehensive manner. It takes a village to prepare and develop students who can achieve at this level, and there is no magic formula. Schrimsher praises his students and the village saying, “We have some of the most dynamic teachers and instruction that I have ever seen! Our teacher are tremendously strong and set exceedingly high expectations for their students and themselves. Without that, no [ACT] prep program or intervention can be significantly impactful.”
AHS uses the John Baylor Test Prep System. This system was provided for AHS with help from AHS Partner in Education TVA. It is a great support mechanism for the instruction at AHS. Said Schrimsher, “ I believe that as we utilize it more and more we will see overall scores increase at AHS and we will see more and more opportunity gaps close. Just off hand I can tell you about two Seniors who completed the JBP course; neither got 30’s, but between the two, their scores came up enough to qualify them for a combined $40,000 dollars in scholarships. That is a life altering amount of scholarship money and will change their life path. Talk about opportunity!”
The 30 Point Club seeks to honor and recognize the outstanding accomplishments of these students. The hope is the presence of the club will inspire goal setting for other students. The members receive an exclusive tee shirt and certificate upon membership. They will be honored with their names on a plaque to be housed in the trophy case at the entrance to AHS. As evidenced by one number – 30 – our students are clearly much, much more than a score. Indeed.
2016-2017 Members of The 30 Point Club: