Blackwell High Schools makes Maroon history with ACT scores.

by Charles Gerian

Blackwell High School Principal Gerry Magin said the news almost made him jump for joy: the school scored an average of 19.3 on the state’s ACT tests.

“Historically, BHS has hovered in the 16-17 average sprinkled with some 18 averages,” Magin said. “As far back as can be found, 19 has/had never been achieved.”

The ACT, or American College Testing, is a nationwide exam that has been used for years to gauge how ready high school students are to attend college.

Higher scores on the multi-part test equate to better student readiness for college.

“Post-Covid scores dropped precipitously all across the country, including Oklahoma, and BHS averaged 15.59 in the fall test, given free by the state, but jumped to 16.78 in the April scoring, which is the one who counts for state testing/grade card purposes. …This was a significant gain indeed. Our goal has been to be the first group to average over 19, a goal that appears daunting, but ultimately reachable.”

Magin said the high school added an ACT class that all sophomores take as well as an ACT boot camp for three days in the morning prior to the April tests.

“We have incorporated all teachers in methodologies to help with the ACT,” he said. “Our core teachers created lessons to better help students focus on what would help when taking the ACT. … The students bought in. They focused on utilizing the whole time available for the ACT test, and the efforts paid off.

“I am very, very proud to say we have a 19.3 average for the ACT this year. We have 20 students who scored 20 or above and three who scored 30 or above; 36 is the absolute max score.”

While the scores were cause for celebration, Magin said the future is what the district is focused on next.

“As awesome as this is, our new goal is now an average of 20 ACT score as we move forward,” he said. “This is proof positive BHS students are the best, and we – they – can achieve whatever they really set their minds to.”

Magin highlighted the community support that helped the school reach the new threshold.

“All three banks – RCB, BancFirst and Stride- donated $1,000 each the last three years for ACT motivation,” Magin said. “Students must score 24 or higher or improve four points or more from a previous ACT test before the April test their junior year.

“It has really helped as we not only have higher scores, but more students applying for college and/or going on to schools for further education. This is a wonderful example of school and community partners.”