SAT test-takers in the Cherokee County School District in the Class of 2021 surpassed their counterparts from last year and from 2019, results from the College Board released Wednesday show.

The CCSD Class of 2021 earned an average total score of 1125 on the SAT, the district reported Wednesday, a jump by 25 points from last year and 10 points above the district’s average in 2019.

The district’s average score on the college entrance test outpaces the state public school average by 48 points, according to CCSD, and is above the national average by 87 points.

The SAT includes two 800-point sections: Evidence Based Reading & Writing (ERW) and Mathematics, with a possible total score of 1600. The SAT essay is optional.

CCSD’s overall Class of 2021 average ERW score is 569, – up 10 points from last year, and 23 over the state average and 45 over the U.S. The district’s Math average is 556 – up 15 points from last year and 25 over Georgia and 42 over the U.S.

The district’s high schools, all within a 24-point-span, each surpassed state and national averages.

Leading the group was River Ridge High School, with an average SAT score of 1140 (ERW 574, Math 566), which also saw the largest gains from last year, a 61 point-increase. Sequoyah High School had a score of 1134 (ERW 574, Math 559), and saw a 34-point increase from last year. Woodstock High School had a score of 1127 (ERW 573, Math 554), up 30 points from last year. Etowah High School had a score of 1121 (ERW 569, Match 552), up 19 points from last year. Two schools had an average SAT score of 1116: Cherokee High School (ERW 567, Math 549), up two points from last year, and Creekview High School (ERW 558, Math 558), up six points from last year.

Thirty percent of CCSD students participated in the optional essay this year;

According to CCSD, the district’s scores place it in the top 20% of public schools in Georgia.

“Overcoming the challenges that faced them, our Class of 2021 seniors rose to meet the SAT’s high academic standards…and exceeded them,” Superintendent Brian Hightower said in a statement. “We’re deeply proud of these graduates for their success and for our incredibly dedicated teachers and staff who went above and beyond to support their learning. Congratulations and thank you!”

Forty-five percent of CCSD’s Class of 2021 took the SAT exam, down from 59% of the Class of 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many colleges and universities have temporarily waived SAT and ACT requirements, and some test dates were canceled in 2020.

ACT scores are expected to be released next month.

“Despite the fact that part of their high-school education took place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia’s class of 2021 did an outstanding job on the SAT — both increasing scores and outperforming their counterparts in the nation’s public schools,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in a statement. “I am extremely proud of these students and these scores are a testament to their hard work, and the hard work of educators in Georgia’s public schools who continue to offer stellar educational opportunities despite the challenges of the last year and a half.”

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