Published July 31. 2012 5:00PM Updated August 01. 2012 12:01AM
Waterford — The town's high school students have recorded the highest standardized test scores in the history of the Waterford public school system.
Last year's 10th-grade class placed first in reading, second in science, fourth in writing and sixth in mathematics among its District Reference Group on the Connecticut Academic Performance Tests.
"These are the highest CAPT scores in the history of Waterford Public Schools," Superintendent of Schools Jerome Belair said on Tuesday.
Waterford is one of 24 school districts in its DRG — which groups school districts by size and wealth, among other things — which includes East Lyme, Stonington, Old Saybrook, Ledyard and Colchester.
The score increases the district has posted are slight in all subjects.
Students also increased their reading scores by .3 percentage points over last year, raising the number of students at or above proficiency to 93.6 percent.
Science scores saw the biggest incline, where 93.7 percent of students tested at or above proficiency, an increase of 3.6 percentage points over last year.
In writing, 95.1 percent of students tested at or above proficiency, an increase of .1 percentage points over last year.
In math, 92.1 percent of students tested at or above proficiency, an increase of .1 percentage points over last year.
The CAPT is administered to 10th-grade students across the state every March. The standardized test assesses a student's ability to read text and understand, interpret and refer to it to explain his or her thinking.
Belair said the district's elementary school students also produced strong Connecticut Mastery Test scores. That test is administered to third- through eighth-grade students.
"We're in the process of analyzing all of the scores in greater depth to indicate areas of change and curriculum and instruction," Belair said.
As part of that initiative, the Board of Education in June approved a new math curriculum and new math resources for K-12 students.
Belair said the district's goal is literacy.
"It's not only about producing strong scores and reading well, it's also about actually understanding what they're reading," he said.
The Board of Education plans to discuss the district's scores at its regular meeting in September.