LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Seventeen area schools meet or exceed the state average when it comes to ACT scores; the average state score is 22.1 and 71-percent of students took the test.
In the La Crosse area, Aquinas had the highest average score with 24. 4 and 96-percent of students took the test.
Aquinas guidance counselors think their averages are higher than the states because they start working to prepare students for the ACT as soon as they reach high school.
Each year, all students have to take Pre-ACT tests so their teachers can see what areas they need more help in.
Teachers also talk to students as if college is an expectation.
"When the students come here as ninth graders our student services and our guidance counselors get with them and they put them on a four year plan so they'll work with the students for four years on getting them prepared for post secondary education," Ted Knutson, Aquinas Principal.
They also have extended classes, twice a month, so students can get extra tutoring from their teachers.
"But I think one of the big things Aquinas offers is a core curriculum," Deb Kussnaul, Aquinas Director of Guidance said. "We offer many required courses to them to be successful in anything they do."
Susan Omans, Aquinas School Counselor said she saw how well the program worked when her own children went to Aquinas.
"They went to very diverse colleges followed diverse paths but I think they all got a good foundation and a good send off," Omans said. "I think they knew how to study, what to study and how to approach road blocks."
Aquinas also gave credit to higher than average ACT scores to the number of parents who really take an interest in their child's education and teachers that take the extra time to help.
Other area districts that had an average ACT score higher than the state average included:
Bangor 22.7, Cashton 22.3, Cochrane-Fountain City 22.5, Holmen 22.9, Kickapoo Area 22.7, La Crosse 22.9, La Farge 24, Luther 23.4, Melrose-Mindoro 22.4, Onalaska 23.3, Royall 22.2, Viroqua 22.7 and West Salem 22.3.
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