The Adel DeSoto Minburn graduating class of 2018 had an ACT composite score of 24.4, the highest on record for ADM Community Schools and well above the Iowa state average of 21.8. This continues a strong trend of ADM graduates scoring well above the state average, but marks the first time the district has surpassed a composite score of 24. The previous high was achieved by the class of 2014 with a composite score of 23.9.
Over 80% of students in the class of 2018 took the ACT exam consisting of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, mathematics, reading, and science. The tests are designed to measure the skills necessary for success in first-year college coursework.
When asked about the strong ACT testing history at ADM and this year’s high mark, ADM Superintendent Dufoe stated, “It all starts with our tremendous teaching staff from preschool to high school and an instructional system that rests on a strong foundation of excellent teaching. Our teachers live our mission each day, by being committed to engage ALL students in a challenging and supportive environment that ensures ALL students learn at high levels.
Over the past few years at the high school, this meant working to eliminate courses that did not match our mission and allowed students to work at below grade level standards. As courses and standards have increased in rigor, we have responded with excellent teaching and necessary supports when students struggle.”
High School Principal Lee Griebel also cited ADM’s focus on Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) as an essential element of the district’s success. He stated, “Professional Learning Communities focus our teachers on answering four basics question about learning. The focus of the PLC process really gets at what it is we want our students to know and be able to do, how we will know if they know it, and how we will respond if they struggle. All teachers in the district are on collaborative teams that work to answer the four questions and intervene with additional support and instruction as needed.” The PLC process has become an integrated component of teaching and learning at ADM and is supported in large part by Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation program that provides additional funds used for PLC leaders, model teachers, and instructional coaches.
While ADM is extremely proud of improved ACT scores, High School Principal Lee Griebel’s focus continues to be on improvement and growth. “We are not satisfied with simply maintaining good scores, we always want to improve and will continue to work hard for our students. We know how important the ACT tests are for students to gain entrance to a university or college and their ability to earn scholarships. ADM cares about the future of our students and we will do whatever it takes to help them be successful.”