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ACT Prep Class Leads to Improved Scores at PMHS

Ms. Pat Smith, Picayune Memorial High School Assistant Principal, spoke to the Picayune School Board of Trustees on Tuesday night about changes that have taken place surrounding the popular college admissions test known as the ACT.

Prior to 2016, only those students who planned to attend college took the ACT, and Picayune averaged above the state in most categories. However, in 2016, the state mandated that all Junior students take the ACT, including special education students and those who do not plan on attending college. The move brought average scores down across the state and brought Picayune’s average scores below the state average.

Pat Smith (standing) discusses ACT scores and prep class

In response to the state’s new mandate, the school decided to implement an ACT Prep class designed to help students conquer the big test. The class began in the Fall of 2017 to prepare students to take the ACT in the spring, and the results were shared on Tuesday night. The district showed drastic improvement in all sections of the ACT (English, Math, Reading, and Science). The board was pleased to hear that the district’s scores rose to above state average in all categories, and projections for 2019 suggest continued improvement.

Picayune ACT scores compared to state scores shown above

The board heard other good news from the district regarding the Superintendent Dean Shaw. Shaw was selected as one of five finalists for an award distinguishing the top superintendent in the state. Though Shaw was not selected, to be named among the five finalists is considered a great honor.

The board also voted to accept a grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi of $1,000. The money will go to Picayune Junior High for PE equipment.


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