Kemmerer High considers minimum ACT score as graduation requirement

Kemmerer Junior Senior High School is considering making a minimum ACT score of 14 a requirement for graduation. This proposed policy was discussed at the Nov. 5 Lincoln County School District No.1 school board meeting.

ACT scores range from 1 to 36 for each of the sections, and a composite ACT Score is an average of those four scores.

A process for student appeal  of the graduation requirement would also be included in the policy.

KJSHS principal Orlen Zempel presented the board with practice ACT scores from this year’s juniors. Names were redacted from the list of scores. 

“Based on these scores, our scores could be the top 10 ACT scores in the state,” Zempel said. “But that won’t happen without continued effort.”

Zempel and Chaulk discussed the possibility of giving a practice ACT test to sophomores and juniors next school year. Results of the practice test are usually available in a matter of weeks, Zempel said, and would provide teachers and students with a precise tool to increase learning and scores.

Zempel said he would meet with Chaulk and the high school teachers to create an “effort rubric” that could be used in a student’s appeal about the ACT score graduation requirement.

This rubric will help teachers determine if a student has given consistent effort throughout their high school career even if they haven’t met the proposed ACT score requirement.

“Our goal is to create a culture where students give effort because it matters,” Chaulk said.

Zempel added to Chaulk’s comments about the purpose behind adding a minimum ACT score as a requirement to graduate from Kemmerer High School.

“We want to use this to create relevance in the classroom, so students take their studies seriously,” Zempel said. “Our goal is not to prevent students from graduation. We’re trying to reach a group that at this point refuses to try.”

Zempel, Chaulk and the board agreed that the proposed policy might also change the mindset about school and standardized tests for parents of KJSHS students.

The group will continue discussion of the proposed policy at the school board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the administration building in Diamondville.