Cary-Grove High School is enjoying an upward trend when it comes to American College Test (ACT) composite scores.
For the fourth consecutive year, seniors at Cary-Grove have increased the school's composite ACT score.
The Trojan's graduating class of 2009 had a 22.9 ACT composite score, said Cary-Grove Principal Jay Sargeant. The class of 2010 increased that to 23.1, and 2011 graduates delivered a 23.4.
Not to be outdone, the 400-plus seniors from the Class of 2012 achieved a 24.1 ACT composite score, Sargeant said. It's the highest score ever for Cary-Grove, he said.
"We are just very proud of that group of kids," Sargeant said. "And we're very proud of our staff for putting in a lot of work into that group of kids."
Not only were last year's scores impressive, Sargeant said, but the overall growth in the students' individual scores compared to tests taken when they were eighth-graders - when incoming freshmen take the EXPLORE test - was the largest increase, as well.
"That class also grew the most than any other class from when they were eighth graders to when they graduated," Sargeant said.
The principal said district and administrators at the school, located at 2208 Three Oaks Rd. in Cary, have been consistently working to add advanced placement courses and advanced placement tests, which push the students academically, he said.
"We've had more kids taking the AP classes than ever, and they deserve the credit for being willing to take on those harder classes and push themselves," Sargeant said. "These kids are wonderful, and they have been willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears (to succeed in the classes)."
Cary-Grove is one of four schools in Community High School District 155, which serves more than 7,000 students. The other schools include Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake Central and Crystal Lake South, all located in Crystal Lake.
Overall, the 2012 ACT composite score for Community High School District 155 is 22.9, according the district website. The state ACT composite score is 20.9, and the national score was not yet available.
The ACT tests students in four academic areas: mathematics, English, science and reading. The composite score is the average of the four individual scores. The ACT scoring scale runs from 1, for the lowest, and to 36, for the highest.
Cary-Grove Makes Daily Beast's 'America's Best High Schools' List
Because of the students' scores on the ACT combined with results from the SAT, the Advanced Placement courses offered at the school, and graduation rate, Cary-Grove High School earned the distinguished honor of being named to Newsweek/ Daily Beasts' list of 2012 America's Best High Schools.
Sargeant said he wasn't even aware of the honor until a parent stumbled across the listing.
"The rankings are based purely on statistics," he said. "It's a nice honor."
Cary-Grove placed 897 out of the 1,000 top high schools on the list. No other school from McHenry County was included.