GRAYSON CO., TX-Sherman and Denison students are getting high marks for their standardized test scores. Just this week, both districts got the results for this year's SATs and ACTs and administrators said they made even greater strides than expected.
Scores for Sherman high school seniors went up almost 4 percent from last year with an average of 1075 on the SATs and up a whole point in the ACT's from last year to 21.6 this year. Denison's ACT scores also went up from 21.3 to 21.7 this year with an average of 1037 on the SATs.
Thursday, both superintendents explained how they made the grade.
"We're very pleased. We historically have done above both the state and national averages on both the SATs and the ACTs," said Denison Superintendent, Dr. Henry Scott.
"We just have a culture of success in the district with students who are preparing for college, college-bound students and so it's just exciting to see the results and see students that are college ready each year," said Sherman Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Tyson Bennett.
Both said they attribute the kids' success to programs offered both in and out of the classroom.
"We have a strong curriculum, we have a strong advanced placement program, we have just excellent teachers and supportive parents. So many things go into ensuring that students are high performing," Bennett said.
"We do Princeton Review, we also do tutorials and have periods of time when they can come in and get help if they have questions and that type of thing. So there's a lot of support at the high school," said Scott.
Dr. Scott said more students are also taking the exams. Two years ago, he said only 40% of Denison high school seniors took the test. This year, 51% took the test.
"Our counselors are working with students to encourage them to go to college, to take one of the two either the ACT or the SAT. Because of that, we're having more kids involved," he said.
But they said that doesn't mean theres' no room for improvement.
"We just think success builds on success, so we just want to continually see each year our students performing well and getting our students career and college ready. That's one thing we really shoot for," said Bennett.
"You know, we always hope to improve in everything we do, re-evaluate our programs. We hope every year to get a little better," said Scott.
The national average for the ACT is 21.1. The average SAT score is 1506.