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Staff Writer

TOWNSEND — North Middlesex Regional School Committee members were pleased to hear from Assistant Superintendent Dr. Deborah Brady that the district’s verbal, mathematics and writing Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores are consistently above state average.

In addition, average Advanced Placement scores have climbed from 3.2 in 2001 to 3.4 in 2008, Brady reported this week.

Advanced Placement results measure sophomore and junior year courses in which a score of 3 or above qualifies participants for college-level course credit.

“We credit the new block system schedule for the upward movement, which was the intention from the outset,” Brady said. “It has proven popular with teachers and student alike.”

The block system, in which class duration is 90 minutes, offers much better usage of teacher and student time, she said. At the high school, the system provides double blocks of study for three quarters of the school year.

In 2004, state average SAT scores were 518 in verbal reasoning and 523 in mathematical reasoning. NMRSD scores averaged 517 and 518, respectively.

Verbal test scores exceeded the state average in 2005 (523 to 520), measured even in the 2006 school year (at 513) and jumped ahead, 528 to 513, in the year 2007.

Mathematics reasoning has stayed consistently ahead of the state average in 2005 (scoring 526 to 524), in 2006 (averaging 531 to 522), and 2007 (tallying 532 to 515).

While statewide verbal averages declined in 2008 to 511, NMRSD average was at 522. The state mathematical average dropped to 515 in 2008 while the NMRSD average climbed a notch to 532.

Areas of Advanced Placement content that produced the greatest numbers of 5’s amongst district students were biology, ELA language, ELA literature, French, and U.S. history. The greatest number of 3’s (qualifying for college-level credit) came in chemistry, ELA language, ELA literature, European history, and U.S. history.

At the same time, the greatest number of scores of 1 came in biology (with an equal number of 5’s), calculus AB (nearly matched by 4’s), calculus CD, chemistry, ELA language, and European history.