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School Board Discusses ACT, New Law

The Ponca City Board of Education met Monday night and discussed student ACT scores, along with Senate Bill 783 that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, and deals with student transfers.

Ponca City High School teacher Betsy Easley gave the board an ACT update. Easley said the ACT Review Committee was created to allow all stakeholders to provide feedback on the selection of the ACT as the state assessment for Po-Hi juniors. The committee consisted of two parents of Po-Hi juniors, two Po-Hi teachers and two Po-Hi administrators.

Easley said Po-Hi’s curriculum is organized around both the Oklahoma Academic Standards and ACT’s College and Career Readiness Standards. Po-Hi has transitioned from a stand-alone ACT Preparation class to integration SCT prep into all English and math courses through the use of Reading Plus, IXL and the creation of standards-based benchmarks to ensure all students are thoroughly prepared.

The most recent ACT results for Ponca City included a score of 16.1 for English, 17.6 for math, 18.3 for reading, 18.1 in science with a composite score of 17.6. State averages were 16.7 for English, 17.2 in math, 18.3 in reading, 18.0 in science and a 17.7 composite.

The district has taken steps for growth including the continued implementation of 15 minutes per day of reading practice for every student to build reading stamina, Reading Plus is required at Po-Hi for ALL students in ELA classes, Reading Plus is utilized at East Middle School for students enrolled in reading class and SPED ELA. Reading Plus is also required for ALL students attending West Middle School.

Other areas include utilizing IXL Math diagnostic assessment data to determine areas of deficiency-assignment of prescriptive needs for students at Po-Hi and EMS, plus the Pre-ACT is given to all freshman and sophomores. An ACT Boot Camp is also held for juniors that targets ACT prep in all core classes at Po-Hi.

A new law, Senate Bill 783, was also discussed. This bill states that districts must accept student transfers beginning Jan. 1, 2022 subject to capacity limits, discipline and attendance.

Currently, PCPS has 198 students district-wide on an open or emergency transfer.

The district will begin accepting applications for the next school year starting the first Monday in March. Receipt of applications will be documented by the district so that the district may review those applications in the order submitted for purposes of capacity limitations. The administration will not approve or deny transfers received for the next school year until after the first Monday in August once capacity data is determined for each grade level and site within the school district.