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Van Buren BOE Pushing For Higher ACT Scores In Strategic Plan

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Van Buren BOE Pushing For Higher ACT Scores In Strategic Plan

Van Buren County Schools want to bring the district’s average ACT score to at least 21 as a part of the system’s five year strategic plan.

The Board of Education approved the the school’s core focuses Wednesday night. Director of Schools Cheryl Cole said the strategic plan needed an update to create reachable goals.

“2017 was the first year I think we’ve ever did one and some were unrealistic,” Cole said. “They were not obtainable especially not at that rate for five years.”

Cole said the current ACT average score sits at just under 20. Under the plan, 10th grade students will participate in mandatory ACT prep classes. 11th grade students will have a ACT boot camp before taking the state exam.

The school system also wants to have 50 percent of 3rd grade students reading at grade level by 2027. School Board Member Barry Austin said achieving that goal is important.

“That is a building block for everything,” Austin said. “That’s probably the most important thing that we can concentrate on.”

Cole said Van Buren County Elementary School saw gains in reading last year thanks to a new curriculum. Cole said she expects more growth as students enter year two of the learning plan.

Cole said graduation rates are also a part of the plan. The School Board wants high school students to met state average in that aspect.

In other business, the Van Buren County 2023-2024 school calendar was made official Wednesday night. School Board members considered two options, but moved forward with school starting on August 8th.

The last day of school comes as an abbreviated day on May 22nd. Fall break happens the week of October 16th. Spring break begins March 18th. Both breaks last five school days.

Teachers voted for the two options before board approval. Option one, which was approved, received the most teacher votes.


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