School district preparing students for college

PORT ISABEL — School leaders are making sure all the seniors in the district are prepared to apply for college in the fall.

One of the ways Superintendent Dr. Lisa Garcia is doing that is by offering all the high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take the American College Test exam on campus.

“For us to be able to offer the ACT to all our students on our campus in a familiar setting is a better situation for our students to perform at their very best,” Garcia said. “Offering the test on a school day has been a tremendous advantage for our students.”

Historically, the ACT is administered on a Saturday in the fall and once in the spring at a designated location.

That wasn’t the case two weeks ago as 32 Point Isabel school district students took the ACT test during their regular high school day on campus for the first time.

Garcia said the school district had been working with the College Board over the last two years to get permission to administer the test on campus.

Garcia said the district will offer this to every junior every single year so they are ready to apply for college their senior year in the fall.

Every student who wants to go to a major university or college must take the ACT, but most students don’t have the luxury of taking the test on a regular school day.

The district’s expense was $8,000 to offer every student the training and testing for the ACT exam.

For most college-bound students they have to wake up extra early to drive off to the designated testing site and take the ACT test in an unfamiliar place.

Another way she is helping the college-bound is by offering a free online ACT tutoring service to get ready for the exam.

Garcia said students have also been very pleased with the TutorMe ACT online program available to them to prepare for the ACT test.

Students can log on to the TutorMe ACT website and get training in areas they may need help in.

“The online tutoring program provides individualized tutoring for students to prepare for the ACT,” Garcia said. “Students can select specific areas that they need help with.”

Based on college readiness indicators, U.S. News and World Report lists Port Isabel High School as one of the top high schools in America.

“We want our students prepared to complete their college application during the fall,” Garcia said.