Archive for Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tonganoxie High ACT scores just below statewide average

August 30, 2011

Tonganoxie High School’s ACT score average is just below the state average for a second consecutive year and down slightly from 2010, and McLouth High School is reporting its average as above the state mark.

ACT scores were released this month, and THS students had an average composite of 21.6. The state average is 22. In total, 71 THS students took the ACT, while 19 took the test in McLouth, where the average composite score was 22.4. It was an improvement from 21.2 in 2010. Tonganoxie’s district composite average in 2010 was 21.8.

“It’s pretty similar to last year,” said Tonya Phillips, director of educational programs for the Tonganoxie school district. “We’re always looking at ways to improve upon our scores.”

Phillips said there are ACT preparation sessions at the high school, as well as targeted assistance for students who need additional help in certain areas.

“If I’m a kid who never got short vowels, it really was a crutch, once I’ve mastered that, you’re not in one group the whole year,” Phillips said. “It’s very fluid.”

In addition, there are periods known as Triple-A in which students who need extra assistance can use that time for those subjects, while students having more success in a subject can participate in enrichment activities or other options.

Tonganoxie’s strongest areas on the test were English and science, in which students averaged a score of 21.7 in each, higher than the state average in English (21.4) but lower than average in science (21.9). The lowest score came in math at 21.0, nearly a point lower than the state average of 21.8. The average score for THS in reading was 21.6, compared to the state average of 22.3.

THS principal Jamie Carlisle noted that there were 64 students taking “core or more” curriculum: four years of English, three or more years each of math, social studies and natural science. Those students’ average composite score was in line with the state average of 22.

Tonganoxie’s highest average score during the last five years was 22.5 in 2007, which was above the state average of 21.9 that year.

McLouth above state average

McLouth High School students scored nearly a half-point higher than the state average with their average composite score of 22.4. It also was an increase from 21.2 in 2010.

MHS principal Mike Bogard said the district has scored above the state average consistently in recent years, sans 2008 when the average was 20.3. Though McLouth isn’t as large of a school as the high schools in some neighboring districts, he said it was good to see McLouth scores stacking up just fine against other districts. In addition to a higher score than neighboring Tonganoxie, McLouth also had a slightly higher composite score than Basehor-Linwood’s 22.3.

“Even though we’re a small school, if you take our upper-level math, English and science courses, you’re going to be fine,” Bogard said.

McLouth’s averages by subject breakdown were as follows: science, 23; reading, 22.1; math, 22.4; and English, 21.5.

“Some people have the misconception that they can’t get what they need to be prepared for college at a small school,” Bogard said. “What our scores are and what our kids do are not indicative of that.”

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