The Duncan Public Schools (DPS) district is taking greater measures to prepare its students for the ACT and college after receiving lower scores and feedback from 2018.

According to Allison Lovett, State and Federal Programs Director, last year was the first time that the Duncan school system had all enrolled juniors take the ACT as their primary assessment, as opposed to previous years.

After this change, composite ACT scores in DPS dropped to 17 for 2018, dropping from 19.4 the year prior. The composite score for the state of Oklahoma was 18.2.

“We need to look at that,” Lovett said. “I think the steps that we are taking at the high school to get teachers to embed strategies and ACT content will help in that area.”

Some of those steps Lovett said DPS has already begun to implement includes an online ACT prep service through Gear-Up that students can access on their own time, as well as a few workshops throughout the year for both students and teachers.

Concerns over the continuation of the workshops include cost and preparation time, which turns a few members of the board’s heads towards the online service that is already available.

With teachers trained on ACT prep already, and the students having access to a prep course on their own, Lovett said that their hope is for the teachers to be confident and well-versed in ACT prep to the point of training their own students during class time.

“That would be our goal, that they would be able to do their own boot camp for kids and that we can spend our own time prepping.”

However, this wouldn’t be the first time the school has hosted ACT workshops, in fact, recently a workshop under the organization Decode the Test was held for DPS teachers that focused on ways to “beat the ACT.” This training included tips, tricks and strategies for students as well as advice for teachers on how best to deliver that information to their classrooms.

Composite ACT scores from 2019 will be available July 12, and those scores may shed more light on where the school district stands in comparison to other districts in the state.