• 70°

Bogue Chitto gets slice of ACT prep grant

Bogue Chitto is one of 15 high schools to be chosen to begin the first-ever, state-sponsored ACT math review preparation.

The preparation is for juniors scheduled to take the state-administered test in February. The pilot program is made possible through a $100,000 allocation from the Mississippi Legislature that provided for 1,700 juniors enrolled at the 15 schools during the 2018-19 pilot year.

The Jumpstart Test Prep will be used for the pilot program.

Jumpstart co-founder and CEO Sha Walker, of Brookhaven, said the program should help raise test scores at Bogue Chitto and the other schools.

“We believe that in order to be fully prepared, all students need a complete review of the content they will see on the ACT, along with all the tips, test-taking strategies and realistic question practice that we provide,” Walker said. “Most of us are visual learners. Our review is a highly visual product designed to capture the students’ attention and combined with our workbook allows students to actively participate as they watch our online video review.”

Working in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Education, the goal of the pilot program is to help selected high schools improve ACT composite math sub-score averages.

Besides Bogue Chitto, the other pilot schools are Franklin County High School, North Pike High School, Hazlehurst High School and Salem Attendance Center in Walthall County, as well as Bay Springs High School, Blue Mountain School, Coldwater Attendance Center, Lake Cormorant High School, Laurel High School, Long Beach High School, Ray Brooks School, Ruleville Central High School, West Point High School and Wingfield High School.

Jumpstart’s approach engages students quickly by explaining difficult content in a way they can follow and understand. The program is based on 40 years of work by educator and tutor Dot McClendon, a longtime teacher at West Lincoln Attendance Center.

The company has found when students are coached the right way, they can quickly secure a significant gain somewhere between five to 15 questions they would not have gotten otherwise, Walker said.

Juniors in the pilot school program will have access to:

• Expert content review and practice, along with test taking tips and strategies delivered in the classroom via streaming video.

• Online, on-demand, 13-hour review of math content tested by ACT that can be led from the classroom or used individually by students through May.

• Student workbooks to be completed as lecture content is watched and later used as a student study guide.

• On-demand support.

Bogue Chitto Principal Scott Merrell was eager to have an effective ACT preparation at his school.

“I was very encouraged to learn of Jumpstart and how Sha Walker had taken a very reputable ACT review program by Mrs. Dot McClendon and transposed her lessons into a format that can be used by everyone,” he said. “Mrs. Dot is somewhat legendary here in our county and I knew that if she were involved with the creation of this product, it would necessarily be effective and of good quality.”

The 59 juniors at Bogue Chitto will participate in the review program in the classroom for the 20 days leading up to the ACT in February, he said.