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Gainesville, Hall schools show improvement in ACT scores

Students in Hall County and Gainesville City school systems showed gains this year in the ACT college admissions standardized tests, but they were slightly below the state average.

Hall County Schools, which had 518 students from seven high schools take the test, had an average composite score of 21.1, which was 0.3 points more than the average score last year. The 169 Gainesville students taking the test had an average composite score of 20.8, up nearly a full point from a score of 19.9 a year ago.

ACT Average Composite Scores

       Districts and State

                      2016 2017

Gainesville City School System 19.9 20.8

Hall County Schools        20.8 21.1

State Average       21.1 21.4

Local High Schools

2016 2017

Chestatee  21.6 20.9

East Hall 20.0 19.9

Flowery Branch 21.7 21.9

Gainesville 19.9 20.8

Johnson 19.2 20.6

Lanier Career Academy 16.5 17.0

North Hall 21.5 22.3

West Hall 19.9 19.4

Statewide, Georgia was up 0.3 points from a year ago, with an average composite score of 21.4 this year compared with 21.1 a year ago. The national average composite score was 21.0 this year.

In Hall County, four high schools — Johnson, Flowery Branch, North Hall and Lanier Career Academy — had improved average composite scores over last year. Johnson had the greatest increase — 1.4 points — going from an average composite score of 19.2 last year to 20.6 this year. North Hall had the highest average score of any area high school — 22.3 — an improvement of 0.8 points over last year. The largest decrease at any school was at Chestatee  High, where the average composite score was 20.9 this year, down from 21.6 a year ago.

“It’s actually very similar to last year’s results,” said Kevin Bales, Hall County assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. “We didn’t have any significant losses of points.”

Hall County School Superintendent Will Schofield he was “encouraged” by the district’s ACT results.

“The results appear to be ticking up, which is what we would hope,” Schofield said. “ACT and SAT scores were never meant to be comparative in nature, because it’s a different number of kids, it’s a different group of kids and it’s not all of your kids taking a test every year. But I’m certainly encouraged.”

Gainesville City School System Superintendent Jeremy Williams said he is “very proud” Gainesville High’s 0.9-point increase on the ACT average composite score from last year. The school also had an increase of students taking the test from 145 last year to 169 this year. Gainesville High is the only high school in the city district.

“GHS continues to increase the number of students taking the ACT and composite performance,” Williams said. “We are continuing to trend upward and expect to surpass the state and national averages in the coming years. We have a great group of students, and the ACT is one way of showing our success.​”

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