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NHS SAT Scores Increased From Last Year



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NHS SAT Scores Increased From Last Year

By Tanjua Damon

Newtown High School recorded a record number of students taking the SATs and both the verbal and math scores took an upward climb for the 1999-2000 results.

Principal William Manfredonia is pleased with the scores and the number of students who took the SAT from last year’s graduating class.

“We did very, very well,” he said. “Our scores went up in both areas.”

An increase of 14 points was seen in the verbal area of the standardized test. In 1998-1999, the verbal score on the test was 523, but in 1999-2000 the verbal score was 537. Math also increased by four points, scoring 535 in 1998-1999 and 539 in 1999-2000.

“Ninety-four percent is the highest number who have ever taken the SAT,” Mr Manfredonia said. “Our scores have gone up with a high number of students who have taken the SAT. I’m very pleased with the increase.”

There were 230 out of 245 students who took the SAT during the 1999-2000 school year. Math is a strong area for the school and students continued to excel in the math section of the test.

“In Math we’re very solid. I’m very pleased with the consistency,” Mr Manfredonia said. “We do a really good job with students understanding math skills.”

Lorrie Arsenian, assistant principal and a former English teacher at the school, said the English Department met and put together a plan to push vocabulary and stress the importance of reading comprehension and writing.

“I know there was a definite push with vocabulary. We met as a department,” she said. “Vocabulary is a big piece of the SAT.”

Latin is also becoming a strong elective for students at the high school, Ms Arsenian said. Students understand more what they need to do to help them gain skills for the standardized test.

“Students are recognizing those areas that are important,” Ms Arsenian said. “Vocabulary right across the board is part of everything they do, it’s not just English. It can really help improve speaking and writing.”

Mr Manfredonia echoed Ms Arsenian that vocabulary is not just for the SAT, but for what comes next from college to careers for students.

“We want them to have an enriched vocabulary right when they start at Newtown High School,” he said. “It’s the nature of our school, nature of our confidence, a big incentive to continue after Newtown High School.”

Vocabulary is not the only emphasis. Providing instruction for students on reading comprehension and writing is also stressed as soon as students enter the high school.

“There really is an importance placed on reading comprehension and the integration of writing skills,” Ms Arsenian said. “Students clearly know now what they need to know. They are at a major advantage because they know what they need to do.”

Mr Manfredonia is proud that Newtown students are continuing to excel and that the goals are working, enabling students succeed in whatever they do.

“I know we’re a good school. We’re very focused on what we feel that students need to know,” he said.  “Our goals are working. We hope our style of teaching will allow students to excel in a number of areas. I want students to be happy. I want them to be happy after they leave Newtown.”

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