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Virginia students beat national averages on ACT

Virginia students outperformed their peers nationwide on every section of the ACT this past year, according to data released Wednesday.

State students achieved an average score of 22.8 compared with the nationwide average of 21.0. The college admissions exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. Across the state, 26 students achieved a perfect score of 36 on the exam.

Average scores for Virginia students saw increases across all sections of the test, with upticks in math, reading, science and English usage and grammar.

“These results build on long-term trends of higher achievement and increased participation in ACT testing,” state Superintendent Steven Staples said in a statement.

Participation in ACT testing increased by two percentage points this year. Of 2014 Virginia graduates, 28 percent took the ACT, compared to 26 percent the year before. In all, nearly 23,000 graduates took the exam. (These totals include public, private and homeschool students from Virginia.)

Still, the College Board-administered SAT remains the dominant college admissions test in the state. The College Board is expected to release its annual report on SAT results in October.

Two Fairfax County schools receive state grants for academic enrichment

Two Fairfax County middle schools have received grants from the state Department of Education to provide academic enrichment experiences for their students.

Glasgow Middle School, in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, and Kilmer Middle School, in Vienna, have received 21st Century Community Learning Center grants from the state.

The grants focus on supporting academic activities outside of the regular school day. The funds can be used to provide tutoring and literacy programs and other educational activities to add to students’ academic experiences outside school hours.

The two Fairfax County schools are among 47 schools across Virginia to receive such grants for the upcoming school year.

FCPS teachers recognized for excellence in tech education

West Springfield High School teacher Josh Masley has been named High School Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association (VTEEA).

Masley, who teaches technology at the school, is one of three Fairfax County public school teachers this year recognized by VTEEA for excellence in technology education.

The association named Timothy Threlkeld, a technology and engineering teacher at Holmes Middle School, its Middle School Teacher of the Year. Fairfax High School’s technology education program and its teacher, Emre Ege, earned the title of VTEEA Northern Region High School Program of the Year.