Mississippi District Invests in MasteryPrep Ready for the ACT

Rankin County School DIstrcit Logo

Two years ago, Puckett High School invested in MasteryPrep Ready for the ACT, MasteryPrep’s comprehensive system of all its available ACT college readiness resources and solutions, including ACT prep and college admissions support for grades 9-12.  

Puckett earned one of the highest ACT score gains within Mississippi’s  Rankin County School District.

Their experience with ACT Ready was so positive that access to the college readiness resource was expanded to all nine RCSD high schools. 

“Puckett was our pilot to test the success of [MasteryPrep] Ready, and when the school experienced one of the highest ACT growths in our district, there was no reason to believe it wouldn’t work everywhere. We went in full out with everything, and so we instituted the product across the board in all our high schools,” said Montgomery Hinton, College and Career Prep Specialist for RCSD. RCSD is an A-rated school district as graded by Mississippi’s accountability system that measures student achievement, student growth, student participation in testing and additional academic measures. It is the third largest school district in Mississippi.

Rankin County Schools, At-a-Glance:

$46,833,088

Scholarships awarded to the class of 2022

150

National Board Certified Teachers

7

National Merit Finalists

A-Rated

School District

18%

Increase in dual enrollment last year

Hinton said the learning loss suffered among students from the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the reasons why it was important for the district to implement MasteryPrep Ready for the ACT across all its schools.  

“Not having our kids in schools over the last two years affected a lot of things, and we have to get our kids moving in the right direction. Make them read, make them work, drill them on the curriculum and test-taking skills to be college ready. We are so far behind that we don’t have an option. When our principals saw the improvements at Puckett, there was no question as to whether [MasteryPrep] Ready would be useful or not.”

MasteryPrep impacts 400,000 students a year through partnerships with 625 school districts and institutions in 47 states. In 2021, MasteryPrep partnered with 59 schools and districts across the state of Mississippi, impacting a total of 38,536 students. These results translate to thousands of Mississippi students gaining improved access to college and careers.  

RCSD’s Junior Classes Show Year Over Year Score Gains

Rankin County Results Chart

In 2021-22, the junior classes from all nine RCSD high schools improved average ACT scores by at least one point.  

Pisgah High School saw the largest growth with a 3-point improvement among its 2021-22 junior class, improving from 15.2 to 18.2. The English section score improved 4 points from 13.6 to 17.6.  

Richland High School had the second best improvement, increasing 2.9 points from 15.0 to 17.9 among its 2021-22 junior class average, including a 3.9-point jump in English (17.1) and a 3.8-point jump in Reading (19.5).  

Puckett’s 2021-22 junior class improved 2.5 points from an average of 15.7 to 18.2, including at or above 3-point average gains in English, Reading and Math. The highest average score within RCSD’s 2021-22 junior class belonged to Northwest Rankin High School at 20.1, a 1.7-point increase for its junior class. 

Unpaid testimonial. Individual results may vary, and testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results. ACT score average and gain data courtesy of MasteryPrep client district and based on year over year ACT test data for the same cohort. All testimonials are real participants, and may not reflect the typical user’s experience, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.

College Readiness Journey Begins in Freshman Year 

RCSD’s Mission is “Bring Everyone Strengths Together” – intentionally focusing on empowering students to reach their maximum potential by embracing opportunities and challenges while cultivating a tradition of distinction in education. RCSD sports a 92.6% graduation rate, compared to the state average of 87.7% of seniors, according to the Mississippi Department of Education. 

Hinton said the college readiness journey for RSCD high school students begins in ninth grade and the key to the district’s success is having an implemented calendar and structure that guides students from freshman to senior year.  

Freshmen take a practice test through MasteryPrep’s TruScore Testing & Analysis for the ACT, which now features 3 official ACT® practice tests. For students who score high on math and reading, the real ACT is suggested along with an opt-in for the PSAT. Detailed reports from TruScore also give teachers skill metrics, insights into students’ strengths and weaknesses and data-driven recommendations to boost outcomes. Freshmen are also introduced to ACT Elements – classroom bell ringers and The College Playbook – guide to the college application and admissions process.  

The RCSD pays for all sophomores to take the real ACT in the spring, and sophomore year is when they also enroll in dual college credit for fall/spring of their junior year. “When our freshmen and sophomores take ACT for the first time, that’s when we begin to track the real data, so we have a baseline of how they improve throughout high school,” Hinton said. 

RCSD students take the ACT in both the fall and spring of their junior years, while several students opt in to take the ACT WorkKeys in the spring. In the fall, they begin dual enrollment courses and start to work with their counselors on college/career outlooks. In the spring, they begin to apply to colleges and/or job shadow in their career of choice. MasteryPrep’s ACT Mastery is implemented into junior year curriculum, supported by ACT SnapCourse (video lessons) and ACT Study Hall (reinforcement by prepping students on the skills they need to master). ACT Boot Camps help provide that final push before real test day with review of strategies and commonly tested topics. 

Twelfth grade is then set up for seniors to continue to improve upon ACT/WorkKeys performances, and they work with their counselors to make choices about their college and careers. 

RCSD ACT teachers take the MasteryPrep Decoding the ACT professional development course. Hinton said RCSD added MasteryPrep’s WorkKeys Boot Camps for the 2022-23 school year.  

“Having [MasteryPrep] Ready allows us to channel our resources to the needs of all our students. We have an academic timeline that is set up for high school graduation and entrance into college, but we also have resources that prepare our young people for the skills necessary to enter the workforce where they can earn $20-$30 an hour at a Nissan plant, chicken farm, or industry-type business within 15-20 minutes of our campuses.”

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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