Piedmont High Prioritizes College and Career Readiness

Piedmont High ranks as one of the top schools in Alabama in graduation rate and college and career readiness.

Piedmont High School logo

Piedmont High School Principal Adam Clemons has a good problem on his hands. He is running out of room on the school’s display board of students who have scored 25 or over on the ACT. 

“We have a ‘Making an Impact’ display board in our school’s hallway with all the pictures and names of our students who have scored 25 and above on the ACT, so they can be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments,” said Clemons of his 23 current students at or above a score of 25 on the ACT. “We are running out of room, so we probably need another board. I’ll gladly make that purchase every year.”

#ACTCulture is the high school’s social media hashtag for college and career readiness, and it’s a common message pushed to students about the importance of performing well to attain opportunities after high school. “The ACT is an important assessment that will give our kids opportunities beyond high school, and as educators, we need to instill that culture of all hands-on deck to prepare our students with the proper skills to seize those opportunities,” Clemons said. 

Piedmont High, an Alabama rural school with 338 students amidst a population of 4,500, ranks as one of the top schools in the state in graduation rate (100%), college and career readiness (96%), and is above the state average for graduating class ACT average scores (18.1 vs. 18). What makes these accolades more impressive is 60% of Piedmont High’s students qualify for the National Free and Reduced Lunch Program, higher than the 45% Alabama state average. Economically disadvantaged students at Piedmont average 17.1 on the ACT; economically disadvantaged students across Alabama average 16.4. Proficiency levels are consistently higher than the state (54% vs. 47% proficiency for all students; 45% vs. 33% for economically disadvantaged).

“We are extremely proud of the steps we have taken to grow our proficiency levels, and therefore achieve academic successes for all our student body. Being from a small, rural town, we have a blue-collar working-class student population that realizes the opportunities they can achieve beyond our town, and it’s our job to lay that foundation for them to grow."

Piedmont High School students
Piedmont High ACT Predictions
Piedmont High graduation and career readiness rates

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Partnering with MasteryPrep

Piedmont High is in its third year of implementing MasteryPrep ACT® Prep for Schools, including ACT Mastery, TruScore Testing & Analysis for the ACT + Study Hall, ACT Boot Camps, and Decoding: A Teacher’s Guide to Prep for the ACT (Professional Development).

“The MasteryPrep data, particularly reports that come from TruScore when we assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, has allowed us to be more targeted in our approach in our classrooms, and very beneficial to our success. Differentiation is probably the hardest thing in education. We were looking for a program to center on the data that would help us make instructional changes tailored to each student, and MasteryPrep allows us to do that.” 

Piedmont High has a first-period ACT prep class required of its juniors, and ACT practice questions are incorporated into other class subjects throughout the day as bell ringers. ACT Boot Camps are administered a month before the Alabama state-mandated ACT Test in March, and professional development classes for teachers are held between school years and semesters.    

“It’s a year-round commitment of providing ACT prep resources, and then reinforcing those content needs and strategies immediately before the real test. It’s important that we track performance from their sophomore years to senior-year graduation, so we can hold ourselves accountable to realize the needed improvements.”

About MasteryPrep:

MasteryPrep provides mastery-based college readiness services and resources for the SAT®, ACT®, TSIA2, EOC, and WorkKeys®. MasteryPrep is the nationally preferred SAT and ACT prep provider of the Council for Opportunity in Education and licensed by ACT to include official ACT test questions in its programs. MasteryPrep partners with schools and districts to help level the standardized assessment playing field. MasteryPrep has ranked among the Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Companies” for six years and is a featured “Entrepreneur 360” company.


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