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Fallston High School had top SAT scores for 2017

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Students who attended Fallston High School in the 2016-2017 school year had the highest combined average SAT scores of Harford County’s 10 public high schools, according to a report provided by Harford County Public Schools on the Class of 2017’s scores.

The school system provided the report in mid-November at The Aegis’ request. The students’ performance on the SATs was also a topic of discussion during a presentation on student achievement to the Board of Education on Nov. 13.

Fallston, which had 205 students taking the SAT, had an average score of 575 for the “evidence-based” reading and writing section of the test, and an average math score of 582 for a combined score of 1,157 out of a possible 1,600.

The combined average score for all of Harford County Public Schools’ 1,574 students taking the SAT was 1,120 — 556 reading and writing and 564 math, according to the school system’s report.

“Our students outperformed their peers across the state and nation,” Joseph Schmitz, executive director of the county’s middle/high school instruction and performance, told the school board.

The average score for Harford students was 556 for reading and writing, compared to the statewide average of 534. The national average is 538.

Harford’s average math score was 564, compared to 524 for the state and 533 for the nation, according to data presented to the school board.

The SAT, which is a key component of the college admissions process across the nation, was revised in March of 2016 with the evidence-based reading and writing section, according to Schmitz.

The three Harford high schools with the top combined scores for 2017 were Fallston, followed by Bel Air High and North Harford High schools, according to the school system’s Class of 2017 report.

Bel Air had the highest number of SAT test-takers, 271. They achieved an average combined score of 1,150 — 570 reading and writing and 580 math.

North Harford had 163 test-takers, an average reading and writing score of 571, and an average math score of 576 for a combined score of 1,147.

Other schools scores were as follows:

• Patterson Mill High School: 149 students had combined score of 1,136 — 570 reading and writing, 566 math.

• Harford Technical High School: 131 had combined score of 1,127 — 558 reading and writing, and 569 math.

• Aberdeen High School: 173 had combined score of 1,122 — 556 reading and writing, and 566 math.

• C. Milton Wright High School: 214 had combined score of 1,119 — 550 reading and writing, 569 math.

• Edgewood High School: 121 had combined score of 1,076 — 538 in reading and writing, 538 math.

• Havre de Grace High School: 64 had combined score of 1,072 — 534 reading and writing, 538 math.

• Joppatowne High School: 83 had combined score of 936 — 462 reading and writing, 474 math.

Advanced Placement/IB scores

Schmitz also discussed how Harford students fared on the most recent Advance Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.

The AP exams are graded on a scale of 1-5; nearly 2,700, or 64.7 percent of exams taken received a passing score of 3 or higher, according to HCPS data — students can take more than one AP test in different subjects.

That amount has increased over the past two years — 60.2 percent of exams received a passing score in 2016, and 60.3 percent passed in 2015.

Students took 4,160 AP exams in the 2016-17 school year, which Schmitz said is “the largest number of AP exams ever taken” in Harford County Public Schools.

“While not all students who take an AP course take the corresponding exam, students often comment on the positive experiences that they have in enrolling in an AP course,” he said.

The International Baccalaureate magnet program is offered at Edgewood High School. The IB exams are graded on a seven-point scale, and 216 exams, or 78.8 percent, received a passing score of 4 or greater, according to the HCPS data.

That figure is also an increase from prior years — 176, or 78.6 percent of exams passed in 2016, and 201, or 74.5 percent, passed in 2015, according to the data.

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