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ST. GEORGE – Utah Education Association representative Amy Barton said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact local students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 at the Oct. 12 Council meeting. Washington County Education.
With most of the kids back in school, the Washington County School District is one step closer to normalcy, according to Barton, who is also a teacher at Coral Canyon Elementary School. She said the district experiences a high number of absences among teachers and students.
âWe want this to be a normal school year. It’s not a normal school year, âBarton said. âThe children disappear for 10 days. . . . whether they are quarantined or because they are sick, this is a challenge.
In the midst of such hardships, WCSD celebrates a victory. A recent triumph, announced at the October 12 board meeting, saw local schools share a statewide victory.
The Utah State Board of Education announced that the composite average scores on the American College Test entrance exams in the state have increased from 20.2% for the class of 2020. 20.6% for students in the 2021 class.
Composite ACT scores are based on students’ average scores on the math, science, reading, and English subtests. Utah’s improvement contrasts directly with a nationwide trend that saw the average composite scores of American students drop from 20.6% to 20.3% over the same period.
The ACT figures for Washington County students reflected the upward shift in the state.
Students take ACT in the spring of their junior year. That way, their scores are ready for the time they submit their college applications, usually due the following November and December. The timeline also gives students who are disappointed with their ACT results time to retake the test up to 12 times. It is common for students to take ACT 2-3 times, often with better results after retesting.
In 2020, juniors in Washington County schools took ACT just in time. Schools closed two weeks later amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notes showed a small but significant boost from 2019 in all subjects except reading, where the numbers were 20.1% identical. The mean scores for the class of 2021 in the other areas were 19.8% in mathematics, compared to 19.5% for the class of 2020; 20.2% in science, compared to 20%; and 18.7% in English, against 18.5%.
Utah schools are also doing relatively well in terms of the number of students taking the exam. Statewide, there was an 11% drop in students in the class of 2021 who took ACT, according to the Utah Board of Education. Nationally, the number of students taking ACT decreased by 22%.
State Superintendent of Education, Sydnee Dickson, said in a press release that the ACT scores for the Class of 2021 in Utah are something to be proud of. âThe big news from our ACT comes in a reflection on the students, teachers and parents who have made this possible through their commitment to education,â she said.
For more information on taking ACT, visit the ACT website.
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