Juniors at The Providence School in Jessamine County led the way in 2011 ACT scores, increasing their composite score nearly a whole point while scores of juniors district-wide went up slightly and stayed above the state average.
The scores were shared with the Jessamine County Board of Education at its work session Monday. Every Kentucky public-school student is required to take the ACT during his or her junior year.
Providence only had 22 juniors last year to take the test as opposed to 33 in 2010, but the scores jumped from a composite 15.3 to 16.1 in 2011. The composite average at Providence was 14 in 2008.
Superintendent Lu Young told the board that the alternative school had “kicked fanny” on the test, which is normed each year and scored from 1 to 36.
“There are comprehensive high schools in Kentucky that don’t have a composite of 16.1, and that’s (the average of) every junior at The Providence School,” she said.
Juniors in the district overall scored a composite average of 19.4, up .1 points from 2011 and more than half a point above the state average of 18.8. Composite scores on math and science went up .4 and .3, respectively, from 2010; English and reading scores remained level.
West High’s scores slipped a bit from 2010, falling .8 in English and half a point overall. Young said there was work to do but that the school remained well above the state average; West’s composite score of 19.7 was the highest of the county’s three high schools.
“It’s not necessarily what we would call atypical performance for a junior class, but we can’t continue to backslide,” Young said.
East High saw increases in each subject from 2010 to 2011, with math scores up 1 point, English scores up .7 points, reading scores up .4 points and science scores up .5 points. The school’s composite average was 19.4, up from 18.8 in 2010.
Young said she was encouraged by the effort Jessamine County students put into the ACT.
“They do take the ACT very seriously,” she said. “We’ve suffered in Kentucky in the state assessment because kids will tell us, ‘This doesn’t really matter to me.’ The ACT, for some reason, still really matters to the kids, even if they hadn’t thought they were college-bound.”