Some local high schools saw increases this year in their average ACT scores as the state saw a slight decrease.
All high schools in the county outperformed the U.S. average. And most of the local high schools scored higher than the state average.
That's according to information released Wednesday. The scores are based on averages of seniors who graduated this year. The highest score possible on the ACT college entrance assessment is 36.
Scores for individual high schools were provided by school officials. National and state scores were released by the ACT organization.
Immaculata High School has the highest composite score in Leavenworth County. This year's score is 24 with 26 students taking the test. That's an increase in the score from last year, when the composite score for 27 students was 22.3.
Immaculata Principal Helen Schwinn said this year's score is the highest she's seen in the five years she's been the principal. She attributed the increase to a strong academic class.
This fall, Immaculata will be offering an ACT prep class to interested students.
"I hope (students can) maintain that 24 or even improve it," she said.
This year's score at Immaculata is higher than the national composite score of 20.9 as well as the state composite score of 21.8. Last year's national composite score was 21.1 Last year's state score was 21.9.
At Leavenworth High School, this year's composite score is 21.7 with 195 students taking the test. That's an increase from 2012 when the composite score for 153 students was 21.4.
"We've raised it two years in a row," Leavenworth Principal Tom Barry said.
He said the ACT is one thing that can be used to judge the effectiveness of the school's curriculum.
"It's not the only thing, but it's one thing," he said.
And with a large percentage of Leavenworth High School students going to college, it gives them an idea where they stand, Barry said.
Ben Boothe, director of secondary education for the Leavenworth public schools, said in a statement that the district recognizes "the need to prepare our students to be college and career ready. In an effort to do so, we will continue to establish high expectations for all students, ensure curriculum and instruction are rigorous, and measure and evaluate progress through the development and implementation of multiple forms of assessment."
Lansing High School has the second highest composite score in Leavenworth County. This year's score is 23 with 134 students taking it. That's down slightly from last year when the same number of students averaged 23.1.
Lansing Superintendent Randy Bagby said it's positive that the school's score has been averaging around 23 for several years. But he pointed out that the ACT is only one measuring stick.
Page 2 of 2 - Bagby said it's unfair to compare one district's score to another district's. At some schools, all students take the ACT while at others, only some of the students take the exam.
"It's not a good comparison," he said.
Lansing High School had one student who received a perfect score on the exam this year. Bagby said there's only a handful of students in the state each year who achieve a perfect score.
At Pleasant Ridge High School, this year's score is 21.8 with 34 students taking the exam. That's a decrease from 22.6 last year when 38 students took it.
Pleasant Ridge Principal Andy Metsker he believes the ACT is important, and the school presents an award each spring to individual students who score 25 or greater.
He said a school the size of Pleasant Ridge sees more fluctuation in its scores than larger schools.
Elsewhere in the county, this year's composite score for Basehor-Linwood High School is 22.7, which is an increase from last year's score of 22.5. Tonganoxie High School has a score of 21.1, a decrease from last year's score of 21.9.