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Davis-Monthan tops Arizona college readiness
Sept. 3, 2016

SSA Davis-Monthan tops Arizona college readiness scores

Four students with projectChandler, Ariz. -- Sonoran Science Academy Davis-Monthan is an Arizona Top 50 school when it comes to students’ readiness to excel at the university level. A review of just-released SAT scores conducted by the Phoenix Business Journal and published Aug. 30 puts SSA Davis-Monthan 35th in the state among almost 600 Arizona charter and public district high schools.

The school’s SAT average is 1571 out of the 2400 possible points available for the 2015 test.

“We’re delighted, but not surprised,” says Principal Peggy Fontenot. “We are a STEM-focused school that prizes excellence in every subject area, and our students and teachers always work together to meet the challenge.”

Arizona’s charter schools have had a strong presence in the top ranking by SAT score over the past several years, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. The six-school Sonoran Schools charter network, which includes SSA Davis-Monthan, integrates science, technology, engineering and math into all areas of instruction beginning in kindergarten and continuing through high school graduation.

Sonoran Schools CEO Fatih Karatas says college and career preparation is the end point for every student at each Sonoran Science Academy and at Paragon Science Academy.

“The expectation of post-secondary education is always there,” he says, “and is discussed with our students beginning in elementary school. Our students graduate feeling excited about their career options and the opportunity to continue their studies at a college or university.”

The College Board, which administers the SAT, says a high school student who reaches the benchmark test score of 1550 has a higher probability of obtaining a first-year GPA A or B at a four-year college. In Arizona, 34 percent of students from the class of 2015 took the SAT; about half met the benchmark score.

That makes Sonoran Science Academy Davis-Monthan’s achievement even more impressive. The SAT takes three hours to finish plus 50 additional minutes with the essay. The test covers mathematics, critical reading and writing.
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