Superintendent Fred Walker gave the board a report on the annual summer ACT Prep course provided for ICC students each summer at the school. He said 19 students participated in the program and 95 percent of them showed improvement on their ACT score from previous tests. The average composite ACT score was 22.6 which is well above the state average of 21.1. The highest student composite score was a 30. Walker said that the state is changing state tests to the ACT and ACT Aspire for grades 3-11 next year. He said that ICC has been focusing on increasing college readiness skills for its students for many years and he is glad to see the state move to a plan that will test for those skills in the future. In addition, Walker said that ICC would offer two tests next year in September and April for its students in grades 9-12 due to a special arrangement with ACT.
Superintendent Fred Walker announced to the board that the high school had recently been awarded a $20,000 Computer Science Grant from the Arkansas Department of Education. Walker said the grant focuses on providing hardware, teacher training, and student incentives for Izard County High School to teach computer science courses at the school. He said the computer science course that will be taught in the 2015-16 school year at Izard County High School will be Essentials of Computer Programming and the district may add the following two courses later to the high school curriculum: Computer Science and Mathematics, and AP Computer Science. Walker said that these computer science courses have been endorsed by Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Arkansas Computer Science Task Force and all schools have to offer one of these courses this fall. Izard County and Cave City are the only districts in Fulton, Izard, or Sharp County that will offer a specified computer science course with an instructor on campus this fall. Walker said that the district’s Technology Coordinator, Steven Walker, had applied for the $20,000 ADE grant and he will teach the Essentials of Computer Science course this fall at the high school.