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Lakeland’s ACT Composite Score is Top in Conference

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Lakeland has bagged another Great Northern Conference “championship” -- bringing home not an athletic trophy but an academic one.

At Monday’s school board meeting Principal Justin Szews said LUHS bested the six other conference schools in the composite score from the ACT tests given juniors last spring across the state.

In a normal year, the state Department of Public Instruction provides school districts their ACT results, usually in August or September. Then sometime in October, it releases the data for all school districts so comparisons can be made.

But because the coronavirus left some districts with incomplete data, the state didn’t release the statewide results. That left it to the Mosinee principal to compile the results of their “friendly” conference competition, said Szews.

The state requires all juniors to take the test to determine how ready they are for first-year college coursework in English, mathematics, reading and science and writing. The composite score is the whole number average of the subject area scores not including writing.

Lakeland’s composite average score of 20.9 was above the state’s average of 19.6. Lakeland’s Native American students also bested the state average for that ethnic group: 17.5 to 15.1.

Trailing Lakeland in the GNC were Mosinee, 20.7; Northland Pines, 20.5 and Medford, 20.4.

Szews said 30 percent of those juniors met all four college readiness benchmarks, compared to about 23 percent for the state.

Lakeland significantly outperformed the state average in English and mathematics; and somewhat better in reading and science. Lakeland’s 2019-20 composite score of 20.9 is a significant improvement over the prior year’s 20.0 score.

Szews said the school plans to purchase an academic conference championship trophy, with a plaque for each year. The traveling trophy will reside with the winning school. This year’s LUHS seniors will also be given t-shirts denoting their ACT championship in the GNC.

Board chair Shari Nimsgern said the board appreciates the school staff’s work in helping students achieve that recognition.

A board member was curious how Lakeland stacks up against high schools with similar ethnic and social-economic makeup, mentioning Hayward and Ashland districts. Szews said he considered getting that information, but some districts have yet to complete ACT scores due to the way schools ended their coronavirus school year.

A student’s ACT score can mean acceptance or rejection from a college or university of choice, as well as success in getting scholarships. For more details on ACT, go to wisedash.dpi.wi.gov.

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