The Newton County School System released SAT scores for the 2014-2015 school year.

Overall, the school system’s SAT scores fell by 12 points from the previous year to a composite score of 1333, which is 120 points behind the state average and 157 points behind the national average.

The SAT is a national college entrance exam utilized to measure critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well students analyze and solve problems. It is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors.

The test is broken down into three components, reading, math and writing, and each section is graded on a scale of 200 to 800 points.

“Our overall SAT results indicate what we already know. We aren’t there yet!,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey in a press release. “Our teachers, leaders and district staff will continue to focus on the work to be done as we strive to improve our achievement results.”

On the school level, Eastside High School posted the highest cumulative score out of the three high schools in Newton County with an overall score of 1425, which is five points higher than last year’s score. The school also posted gains in every category of the SAT.

Alcovy High School, which has the second highest composite score in the county at 1305, increased its scores by two points in math to 426 and by five in writing to 436. Its reading scored stayed the same at 443.

Fuhrey says that the school’s improvements “are a reflection of the hard work and focus” exhibit by the school, teachers and students.

“Improving student outcomes takes a combination of high expectations of our students and staff, rigorous coursework in all grade levels, the daily utilization of highly effective teaching practices and the commitment of our students to place a high importance on their education,” she said. “It is also important for students to have support from parents and family to reinforce the value of their education.”

Scores from Newton High School decreased in every category causing the schools overall score to drop by 30 points to 1301. Reading scores fell by 10 points to 442, math declined by five points to 433 and writing dropped by 15 points to 426.

“We are reviewing the results to identify the causes of the decreases,” said Fuhrey. “It is imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure that every child in our school district who wants to pursue a college education is prepared to do so with success.”