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NJUHSD students score above state average in ACT

Nevada Union High School and Bear River High School students have consistently scored higher than the state average for students on the American College Testing exam, also known as the ACT, according to test results recently released by the Nevada Joint Union High School District.

“I am extremely pleased and excited to see our ACT test results for our district,” District Superintendent Louise Johnson said. “Nevada County has always really valued education, and to see this many of our students, be deemed college-ready, is just exciting and validating to all of us for our efforts of high school education in our county.”

According to documents from the ACT, both NU and Bear River students have performed better than the state average for at least the past five years.



The test, which is graded on a 36-point scale, 36 being the highest score possible, is used by college and university admissions offices to get a sense of a student’s academic skill set and college readiness in the subjects of English, reading, math and science.

“Nevada County has always really valued education, and to see this many of our students, be deemed college-ready, is just exciting and validating to all of us for our efforts of high school education in our county.”
District Superintendent Louise Johnson

“If you look at the English scores, it really shows that our teachers have always really engaged in critical reading and critical writing and their reading at a higher level,” Johnson said.




“I’m just really proud to see our kids achieve at these higher levels.”

In 2014, Bear River students had an average composite score of 26.5, more than four points higher than the state average.

That same year, NU students scored 2.5 points higher than the state average with an average score of 24.8.

Bear River Principal Jim Nieto attributes his school’s continued success on the ACT to the contributions and hard work teachers and students exhibit over the course of four years.

“The scores indicate that they have been well-prepared for college course work,” Nieto said.

“And we know that they continue to be successful as they move on to other educational challenges. The rigorous nature of the courses that we offer, the college prep classes that we have available for all students in the subjects that they test in, really across the board indicate the preparation they’ve received.”

While both schools, this past year, did score significantly higher than the state average, Bear River had 40 students take the test, which is the lowest amount of students that the school has had take the exam in at least the past five years. Nevada Union had 89 students take the test and scored an average 24.8, which is the lowest average they have scored in five years, which was formerly 24.9 in 2010.

Ghidotti Early College High School and North Point Academy counselor Karla Aaron said that Ghidotti students also have consistently scored higher on the ACT than the state average, adding that the district has given her students opportunities throughout their schooling to become well-versed in the academic curriculum they are tested in.

“My students were well-paired with that test,” Aaron said. “They are usually students who are strongest in math and science and they feel very comfortable with the material. They took the PLAN test sophomore year so they had some feedback on the ACT as a projected score, so they get their answers to the test, and their questions, so they had something to prep from.”

Ghidotti senior Hannah Oitzman scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT test, and said her school did a great job of helping her prepare by offering an advanced course to help students practice.

“I did a full-length practice test, and while it was miserable to put that much effort into something that wasn’t my real score, it was really valuable to experience the timing of the sections,” Oitzman said. “And the endurance required to do the whole test.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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