Canton City Schools and Montgomery County ‘Level Up’

ACT Math prep book sparks interest across Ohio

School districts outside of Summit County have introduced their students to the power of focused, guided test prep through valuable partnerships with Summit Education Initiative (SEI).

The Level UP Your ACT® Math Score© book accompanies an ACT Math preparation course SEI designed and validated to help students raise their ACT Math scores. While Summit County schools and out of school time partners have access to these materials and volunteer course facilitators at significantly discounted prices, partner organizations and schools may use the materials for a cost as well.

Level UP Your ACT Math Score book“The strength in our work comes from other partner organizations using the Level UP Your ACT Math Score materials to support their own students,” says Dr. Matt Deevers, senior research associate. “We have created the capacity that can enhance the work of partner organizations.”

SEI generates a small amount of revenue, which supports schools within Summit County, from the sale of ACT Math prep materials outside of Summit County. For example, Level UP sales during the 2016-2017 school year generated enough revenue to offer a full-length practice ACT test to any Summit County high school interested in offering it to sophomores or juniors.

“This Level Up work, initially funded through the generous support of Lumina™ Foundation, may continue as a result of book sale revenue,” Deevers says.

Mike Neag, one of SEI’s connections who teaches Stark State College-level courses in Canton City Schools’ Early College High School program, initiated Level UP’s presence in Canton schools. He introduced Deevers to his department chair and school administrators, who liked the idea of offering increased support to students as they prepared for the ACT.

“The students’ comments almost universally praised the Level Up materials for providing insight on how to divide time on easy and harder questions,” says Neag, who is an adjunct professor of chemistry at Stark State College. “Many of the students hadn’t seen some of the more basic math, so the Level Up course was an excellent review.”

As Neag began implementing the program with Jim Pukys, a math teacher at Canton City Schools, SEI agreed to offer discount pricing on the Level UP books through Canton’s relationship with Stark Education Partnership.

“Our goal is to enhance and support all members of the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network and other nonprofit cradle to career organizations in the country, so we were happy to make these arrangements,” Deevers says.

Laura Boyd, College & Career Transition Coordinator at the Montgomery County Educational Service Center, coordinated a Level UP order to provide books to approximately 830 students within 11 math teachers’ classrooms in Montgomery County. SEI worked with Learn to Earn Dayton, another StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network member, to offer Level UP books and materials to any school interested in the work.

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SEI is a Sustaining Member of StriveTogether.

“Overall, students appreciated the information and wanted to use the information as a means to higher ACT Math scores,” Boyd says. “One teacher stated that, ‘My students believed the Level Up materials helped them. That concept and idea definitely helped students to be more confident and comfortable when taking the ACT.’”

All ACT Math score averages among students who took used the Level Up materials in Montgomery County increased. Canton City Schools’ Early College High School students who participated in the Level Up instruction increased their ACT Math scores by two points overall.

“Taking the Level Up course in math took out the mystery of the ACT exam,” Neag says. “Rather than a big, mean ‘exam,’ the course gave students context and reduced the size of the ‘mountain’ they feared. So, with reduced anxiety, it made the process easier.”