MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – High school juniors across the state will take the ACT during school on Wednesday. The state will pay for the exam.
It’s a big deal for people like Sheila Roberts. She guides future generations from her office in the library of Bob Jones High School.
She helps kids get into college, and she describes her job like this: “Fulfilling. Very fulfilling. To see the students meet their goal and have their dreams come true of where they want to go to college and actually have the college acknowledge their value as a student.”
Kids have a hard time getting into college without pulling a good ACT score. Scholarships also come from a combination of grades and the ACT score.
Getting to write down a scholarship on one of Ms. Roberts’ forms – that’s not the point.
Ms. Roberts worries about what happens to kids once they’re not kids anymore.
“Students are graduating with enormous amounts of debt, and many of the parents here are saying they’d rather see their child not take on loans while they’re in college.”
For students here, getting to take the ACT for free during school can set them up for success in a big way, even if it’s not the last time they take it.
“Once you take the test and you become familiar with the test procedure. Almost always the next time you take the test, you’re going to increase the score a little bit,” Roberts said.
That could make the difference.
To help keep the hallways relatively peaceful for the ACT, Madison City Schools has a plan for the students who don’t have to take the test.
Bob Jones High Principal Robby Parker tells us, “What we’re doing with the rest of the school, the 9th, 10th, and 12th graders – they’re about 1,400 of those, we’re having an enrichment day. And there’s a lot of opportunities for the students on enrichment day.”
We’re assured students don’t have the option to just kick back and take it easy.
Kids here had to register their activities, like AP Exam study sessions and service projects, and they’ll have to prove they got something out of the day away from campus.
Principal Parker says, “We just want some type of enrichment during this day. I can promise you, nobody is getting a free day, and if they’re taking a free day, then it’s going to be an unexcused absence.”
That frees up the campus itself for testing.