Students flock to RHS ACT prep course | PostIndependent.com

Students flock to RHS ACT prep course

Theresa Hamilton
Re-2 Director of Districtwide Services

For weeks, Rifle High School students have given up their weekends and lunch hour to study. While this might make a few heads turn, as the ACT tests quickly approach for Rifle’s junior class, the extra time will hopefully pay off.

Fifty-four Rifle High School juniors have volunteered their time to work with six dedicated staff members to prepare for the upcoming ACT college entrance exam.

The new program is the brainchild of Marketing and Multi-Media instructor Jennifer Maher.

“In early February, I talked to a lot of juniors about the ACT and asked if they had started studying, and they all said no. Even though they knew how important it was, they hadn’t managed to block out the time to start studying,” she said.

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Maher tossed around the idea of an ACT prep course and the kids thought it was a great idea.

Unlike most major metropolitan areas, the Rifle area does not have many offerings for test prep courses offered through Kaplan or other national companies. Furthermore, those courses are expensive.

“If our kids were wealthy and lived in metropolitan areas, their families would have the option of sending them to private test-prep courses. Because of geography and finances, our kids don’t have that opportunity, but they still have to compete with those kids for scholarships and college admittance. We need to do whatever we can to even the playing field for our kids,” added Maher.

With the help of Lara Disney, David Ziegler, Marci McShan, Matt Boland and Craig Parks, Maher put together a study course that requires at a minimum 11 hours dedicated only to ACT preparation.

The students have flocked to the program.

“We have kids who want extra help and are willing to spend the time preparing for the ACT; we’d be foolish not to offer them a forum to do that,” said Maher. “We spend so much time talking about CSAP (Colorado Student Assessment Program), I think we tend to forget ACT. ACT not only impacts the school district’s report card, it has a direct and very real impact on each individual student.”

Maher hopes that the in-house test prep course will improve test scores, but she said there has been a larger, unintended benefit that she has already seen.

“I expected maybe 20 kids to sign up. Instead, I had over 50 sign up. I listened to these kids talk to each other, and there was peer pressure to sign up. When was the last time you heard kids pressuring each other to go to a study session? What if we could develop that kind of peer pressure in our everyday academics,” she said.

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The Annual Roy Moore Elementary Art Show will be held on May 3 at the Miner’s Claim Restaurant in Silt. Appetizers will be served from 6-7 p.m. with the auction beginning at 7 p.m.

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Rifle’s 11 state-qualifying DestiNation ImagiNation teams returned from competition this week. Rifle High School’s Destinations in Time team of Thomas Breslin, Tiffany Hardy, Caitlin Johnson, Mitch Kosht, Megan McBride, Hailey McDonald and Stuart Stapleton placed first and will advance to the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., on May 26-29.

Rifle’s Plot and the Pendulum team, coached by Yvonne Long, finished third, the Cartoon Dimensions team, coached by Mari Riddile, finished fourth and the Guesstimate team, coached by David Ziegler, finished third.

Congratulations to all of the teams that represented Rifle High School.


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