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Colfax students above state average on ACT

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — Colfax High School graduates have scored slightly above the state average on the composite score for the ACT college readiness assessment.

Wisconsin is the only state that requires all high school juniors to take the ACT, noted Bill Yingst, district administrator, at the Colfax Board of Education’s September 18 meeting.

“We’re staying above the state average,” he said.

According to the report from ACT included in the school board packet, the average ACT composite score for graduates in the Class of 2017 was 20.6, compared to a statewide composite score of 20.5.

All together, 43 CHS students who graduated in 2017 took the ACT, compared to 66,734 students statewide.

On the English portion of the test, Colfax students scored an average of 19.2, compared to 19.7 statewide.

On the mathematics portion of the test, Colfax students scored an average of 21.2, compared to 20.4 statewide.

On the reading portion of the test, Colfax students scored an average of 20.9, compared to 20.6 statewide.

On the science portion of the test, Colfax students scored an average of 20.5, compared to 20.9 statewide.

Classes graduating from Colfax in 2015 and 2016 all scored slightly below the state average.

The 2016 students had an average composite score of 18.2, compared to 20.5 statewide.

The 2015 students had an average composite score of 21.5, compared to 22.2 statewide.

The Class of 2014 scored above the state average in English, math and reading, and slightly below the state average in science, with a composite score of 22.5, compared to the statewide average of 22.2.

Students graduating in 2013 had an average composite score of 22.6, compared to 22.1 statewide.

College readiness

The report from ACT also included information about the readiness of Colfax students to complete college-level coursework.

In college English composition, 60 percent of Colfax students achieved a benchmark score, which is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in college courses.

The statewide average was 59 percent reaching the benchmark for English composition.

In college algebra, 42 percent of Colfax students achieved a benchmark score, compared to 39 percent of students statewide.

In college social science, 35 percent of Colfax students earned a benchmark score, compared to 42 percent statewide.

In college biology, 37 percent of Colfax students earned a benchmark score, compared to 37 percent statewide.

The percentage of Colfax students achieving a benchmark score in all four areas was 21 percent, compared to 25 percent statewide.

Energy savings

A little more than three years ago, when the Colfax school district completed a list of energy efficiency projects, the district contracted with H&H Energy Management to guarantee a certain amount of energy savings per year for 10 years.

At the September 18 meeting, the Board of Education approved an energy efficiency exemption of $175,569, with $20,721 in bus savings for running three Liquid Propane buses, and utility savings of $17,333, for a total savings of $38,054.

The school district is guaranteed energy savings for 10 years but the savings will continue well beyond the 10 years, Yingst said.

A portion of the $7.2 million referendum approved by voters last fall will be devoted to purchasing three additional LP buses.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Board of Education:

• Learned that Colfax had received $3,482.72 from CenturyLink and $3,138.96 from Verizon for the universal schools and libraries program commonly known as “e-rate.”

• Learned from a report from Robert W. Baird & Co. that the equalized value in the Colfax school district has increased by 2.2 percent, from $324.161 million in 2016 to $331.354 million in 2017. Six years ago, property values decreased but are starting to come back now, Yingst said.

• Agreed to hold a special meeting for long-range planning on a date yet to be determined. The referendum projects this summer and the energy efficiency projects from three years ago fall under long-range planning, Yingst said. But the school board must also consider where the district should be in five or 10 or 15 or 20 years, he said. The long-range planning meeting will be an opportunity for the school board to review what has been done and to plan for what to do going forward, said Ken Bjork, school board member.

• Approved hiring Tina Rothbauer as the middle school volleyball coach.