2010 ACT scores increase in District 51

Composite ACT scores increased a fifth of a point in District 51 this year while the state average decreased by an equal amount.

The district has some catching up to do to reach the state average, which, at 19.4 was four-tenths of a point higher than the district average in 2010. That’s the smallest gap between the district and the state in six years.

Central, Fruita Monument, Grand Junction and R-5 high schools performed better on ACT exams administered in April, when every high school junior in Colorado takes the test, compared with tests given in April 2009.

Students also can take the test during five other months of the year and as a senior, but only tests taken by 11th-graders in the spring count toward state data.

Grand Junction High School had the highest average composite score in the district this year, 19.8, as well as the highest scores on each of the four sections of the test.

Fruita Monument High School had the second-highest scores in the district, and Palisade took third place in English, reading and math. Central High had the third-highest scores in science.

Palisade High School composite scores decreased from an average of 19.1 to 18.9 this year compared with 2009, but 2010 scores at the school were the second-highest Palisade has recorded this decade.

R-5 High had the lowest average scores in the district in each category, but the school had the greatest increases in math, reading, science and English scores among the district’s five major high schools.

District 51 Executive Director of High Schools Bill Larsen said he’s excited about ACT scores in the school district. He said some score improvements may be due at least in part to the district administering ACT-preparation tests like EXPLORE and PLAN. This will be the district’s third year giving every eighth-grader the EXPLORE test and the fourth year giving every 10th-grader the PLAN test, according to Larsen.

“That’s starting to pay dividends for us,” Larsen said.

Larsen said ACT preparation sessions at some schools also have helped scores, as well as an increase in Advanced Placement class enrollment, which he said tends to correlate with better ACT performance. Enrollment in District 51 Advanced Placement courses increased 73.5 percent in 2008–09 compared with 2004–05. Total District 51 enrollment increased 10.1 percent in that time.


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