APS ACT scores dip slightly

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Austin Public Schools saw its ACT scores dip slightly last year, based on numbers Informational Services Executive Director Corey Haugen presented to the School Board Monday night.

While the numbers have stayed relatively consistent over the past six years, scores from 2021 ACT tests fell by a couple points and is just over two percentile points lower than state averages.

Combining Austin High School and the Alternative Learning Center, 271 students had valid test results from the class of 2021, ranging in scores from the highest score of 35 down to the lowest scores of 8 or 9, Haugen said.

The top 10% of the class averaged 28.1 composite ACT scores, with the top 20% averaging a score of 26 and the top 30% averaging 24.4.

The composite scores since 2016 have been between 65.6% and 52.5% in any given year, however, the 2021 results reflected a composite score of 46.5%. It was also the lowest number of testers taken for the composite at 126 during those years.

Compared to the state last year, APS had a composite score of 18.1, lower than the state’s 21.6. That gap stands comparatively over a span of five years with the state averaging 21.4 while APS averages composite scores of 18.9.

But there’s a caveat to that number. Austin typically has a higher participation rate than many of the schools throughout the state, something Haugen confirmed when asked by  Board Chair Kathy Green.

In other news:

•Superintendent Dr. Joey Page told the board the district is working with Mower County Public Health to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5- to 11-years-old within APS schools. A vaccination clinic will be held on Nov. 19. To sign your student up, visit ​​www.austin.k12.mn.us/district-offices/news-detail/~board/news/post/covid-19-pediatric-ages-5-11-vaccine-clinic.

• Page also told the board that if things go according to plan, APS schools will return to having lunches cafeteria areas. The move is expected to take place after Thanksgiving.

• Executive Director of Education Services John Alberts reported that an attempt is being made to hold the Gifted and Talented Symposium in person this school year, after it was held over Zoom last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s something we would like to see come back,” Alberts said. “Working together in person makes such a difference.”

As of right now, the symposium is scheduled for June 14-16, 2022, depending on the state of the pandemic.