By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

Test scores at Del Norte High School are up 10 percent over last year, which places the high school at or above state and national averages.

We were looking for significant growth and we got it, said High School English teacher Alison Eckart.

The improvement is significant because in 19992000, Del Norte High was the only school in the district that didnt meet its growth target for the SAT9 test results.

In fact, the test scores that year dropped slightly from the previous year.

Based on our calculations, it looks like they will exceed their growth target, this year, said Assistant Superintendent Doug Stark.

He added, however, that its too early to say for sure if growth targets will be met because of the way the state compiles the SAT9 scores into the growth target figure, known as the Academic Performance Index.

Yet the raw numbers from the tests themselves do show definite improvements, said Eckart.

There are five subject areas on the test: reading, math, science, social studies and language; grades 9, 10 and 11 are tested.

According to Stark, every grade improved their scores in language, reading and social studies and two of the grades improved in science and math.

As head of the high schools

English department, Eckart said teachers added a sense of intensity and seriousness to preparing for the state mandated test this past year.

We asked students to make a contract and make good on it and we added incentives like movie passes, which worked. Basically, we raised the expectations for our students, she said.

Getting higher scores and meeting their state set growth target will mean Del Norte High School and the district as a whole may get reward money set aside for schools that show improvement.

Eckart said the credit should go to the students.

The kids deserve all the praise. Getting them to want to do better is the only way were going to do it and they are the ones who succeeded, Eckart said.