Boost ACT Academy
Education Foundation for Williamson County
Are you a high-performing student who under-performs on the ACT?
Boost ACT Academy combines a 10 week program of intensely focused sessions designed for students with serious ambition to move their scores. Each two hour class will meet once a week on Thursdays starting April 15, 2021 and twice a week the last 2 weeks prior to the June test. All applications are due by April 7, 2021.
Commonly Asked Questions:
-How much time will I have to commit?
Classes will be 2 hours long and will meet once a week for 10 weeks starting April 15th and twice a week the last 2 weeks prior to the June test. Additional practice material will be given to the student on a weekly basis with the expectation it to be completed for the next class.
-Where will the class be located?
The classes will be located at Brentwood High School and some classes will be on Zoom.
-How many points can students expect to increase?
That depends on the student! Boost Academy will move your score by using four methodological pillars: Analytics, Iterative Improvement Drills, Time on Task, and the Tri-Party Commitment. It is not uncommon to move 3-8 points.
-How can a student be considered for the Boost ACT Academy?
Boost ACT Academy is looking for dedicated students who are successful in their classes but feel unprepared to be successful on the ACT. The ideal candidate will have taken or are currently taking Algebra 2 and be committed to the Boost ACT Academy program. Limited scholarship seats are available.
Growing up amongst the cornfields of Illinois, many people thought I had an odd ambition. I aspired to teach English Literature in the inner city, and that’s what I did. For seventeen years, I choose to work with high school students in Chicago’s notorious south side. These were dangerous places with a culture that robs a student’s ambition and rewards bad behavior, but it’s where I wanted to be because I knew education was their golden ticket to a better life. Overtime, I began to recognize the ACT exam was a barrier for some otherwise capable students.
I coached hundreds of students as they prepared to take the ACT exam. Some of them were gifted athletes who needed to score well enough to get a shot at a Division I school- leading to the NBA or NFL. Others were students with remarkable minds but needed to score well enough to get scholarships to elite schools.
Over time, I developed analytics to identify student deficits, systems of practice, and methods of teaching that healed areas of deficit. I learned that in a few months of work, I couldn’t make up for a deficiency in their knowledge, but I could improve their capacity to use what they already knew.
In the seventeen years I spent teaching ACT to students in the inner city, I moved the ACT scores of hundreds of students. They gained admission to college and a changed life. Along the way, I earned a master’s degree which focused on how students learn. When our daughter entered high school, it was time for a change, and we moved to Nashville, Tennessee where I was invited to teach English Literature in one of America’s most affluent and highly regarded school districts. It could not have been more different than where I had spent the previous seventeen years.
While the social economic statistics of our new home were dramatically different than the south side of Chicago, one thing was the same—the anxiety felt by students and their parents about the ACT. I began to use the same score moving techniques to help these students with identical results—we moved scores.
We will move your score by using four methodological pillars: Analytics, Iterative Improvement Drills, Time on Task and the Tri-Party Commitment.
- Analytics: First, I will meet with every member of the Boot Camp individually. We’ll look at previous scores and other material. Using pattern recognition techniques I’ve developed over time, we will design a specific plan to exploit areas of opportunity. As a student makes progress, the process will be repeated several times.
- Iterative Improvement Drills: We will focus on targeted areas of opportunity identified by the analytics. We will use specific educational practices I’ve developed for this purpose. This includes text taking practices and learning aids based on your individual needs. No student is the same; each ACT prep plan reflects the student’s needs.
- The ACT exam is given seven times a year. It is not unusual for one of my students to take the exam multiple times. While each successive test almost always produces an improved score, the successive exams are viewed as stepping stones to the student’s score objective. Results of each exam are used to recalibrate their individual plan and drive the focus of their Iterative Improvement Drills.
- Time on Task: The duration of study ranges depends on the progress of the student but is typically accomplished over a six-month period. During a six-month period, a student will engage directly with me for nearly 50 hours. Typically, half the time is part of a Boot Camp with a small group of students (5-8) meet one day a week (usually Saturday) for a month. The balance of the time is spent one on one doing analytic work, subject matter work, or Iterative Improvement Drills. Students are also given practice work to do on their own.
- Tri-Party Commitment: At the beginning of this process, three parties will sign an agreement to move the scores to a goal: the student, the parents, and Edpath. Assuring all three of these parties have aligned goals and expectations has proven to be an essential component of success. I meet with both the student and the parents before we start because each of us has a stake in the outcome.
Boost ACT Academy is funded through the generous donations of our parents and local businesses. Parents typically donate $2500 for 12 (2 hour) classes with certified teachers. Scholarship opportunities are available for qualified students. Please complete the contact information below and we will send you the scholarship application form.