CK students prove they’re above average

The results are in and senior students across the Central Kitsap School District are surpassing expectations and rising above the state and national standards.

With more than 45 percent of CKSD seniors taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), CKSD Director of Research and Evaluation Linda Elman said this is an indicator of the percentage of students who will go to a four-year school.

“It means that our students planning on going on to higher education are doing well,” she said.

Although the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) is not directly correlated to the skills used on SAT exams, Elman said she thinks the WASL helps put the focus on students developing reading, writing and math skills which helps them develop the necessary types of thinking.

Results from the SAT tests from the CKSD senior class of 2007 were slightly down from scores last year, however they still exceed the state and national scores. In the verbal section, CKSD students averaged 536 points, whereas the state average was 526 and 502 for the nation. In math, CKSD soared above with a 547-point average which is above the state’s at 531 and the national average at 515. Writing scores were at an overall average of 511 which also beat out both the state at 510 and nation at 494.

“It always makes me feel good to know that we’re there (with high scores),” Elman said. “More kids believe they can (excel).”

Although WASL helps students to generate better writing skills, Elman said for the SATs, the writing portion is one of the more difficult because students are given 30 to 45 minutes to respond to a thought-provoking prompt.

“The real focus on WASL for me is not the test, but raising the expectations,” she added. “(The SAT writing portion) is a quick write. It’s challenging and something we’re still learning about.”

Even though students may take the SATs as many times as they like until they receive the score they desire, Elman said most students don’t take it over and over again.

In addition to high SAT scores, students in CKSD also are taking advantage of the AP program. Elman said almost 1,800 students have enrolled in AP classes for the 2007-08 school year. Last year, CK schools gave out almost 1,300 AP tests, an increase of more than 100 from the year before.

“It means that we’re really trying to expose our children to a rich curriculum,” she added. “They’re doing high-level work in subjects that interest them ... if you’ve got a passion and are willing to work hard, here’s a challenge for you.”

Typically, colleges will give credit for students who score a three or higher on the various AP tests. Although students are encouraged to take advantage of possibly obtaining college credit from high school courses, Elman said they are not forced to take the tests.

“We had an increase in the percentage of students testing (in AP),” she added. “The secondary benefit is getting college credit.”

Of the nearly 1,300 students who were administered AP tests, 78 percent passed with a score of three or higher. Of the 902 students tested at Central Kitsap High School, 86 percent received a score of three or higher. Olympic High School had 220 students take various AP tests with 61 percent receiving a three or higher, and Klahowya Secondary School had 58 percent of the 176 students who took the AP tests receive a score of three or higher.

“We want kids to be successful and doing well on SATs and in academics is the first step,” Elman said. “We want kids to keep as many options open to them as possible.”

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