Ottumwa High School will offer every OHS junior the opportunity to take the ACT college admission test in March at no cost.
The district’s GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) program is removing barriers that might prevent students from taking the test, including travel and cost. Test administration will be on Tuesday, March 12 during the regular school day. The district received a GEAR UP grant in 2014 to follow the Class of 2020 from seventh grade through twelfth. GEAR UP was authorized by Congress to foster increased knowledge, expectations, and preparation for postsecondary education among low-income students and their families.
Due to testing requirements, OHS freshmen, sophomores, and seniors will not have classes March 12.
United Way of Wapello County is supporting the effort by funding breakfast and t-shirts for students taking the test through a mini grant. “We want to encourage every student to participate in this opportunity,” said Barb Hanson, Ottumwa’s GEAR UP coordinator. Last year, according to Hanson, 166 tenth graders took the ACT practice test as part of GEAR UP.