Hill City schools ace ACT

By Leslie Silverman


Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the number of students who took the ACT.

Hill City High School has the highest ACT scores in the state, as reported at this week’s Hill City School Board meeting.

Eighteen of 24 seniors took the ACT, averaging a 25.3, an “outstanding score” according to Todd Satter, Hill City High School principal.

Satter also shared that the high school scored a 78 on the South Dakota Student Performance Index, which is essentially a report card for the schools in the state.

“You want to get between a 75 and 100,” said Satter, who sees some flaws with the state’s scoring system he plans on addressing at a future school board meeting.

The elementary schools are taking their winter benchmark test this week; the same text students took in the fall.

The scores earned from this round of tests can be compared to the fall scores to see how well recent interventions “some of those concepts we spend 30 minutes a day three times a week working on” are working, according to Blake Gardner, Hill City Elementary School principal.

Those concepts include algebraic thinking, academic vocabulary and measurement data. The test correlates closely with the State mandated SBAC test, given in April. 

Steve Helgeland, special education director, is asking the state for Hill City School District to become a pilot school for the new state special education monitoring system, which will be results driven.

Student accountability will be more closely looked at, and by becoming a pilot school, Hegeland hopes to be “ahead of the curve” once the system is fully implemented.

A new Native American football conference may impact the Hill City football schedule.

The All Nations Football Conference will be discussed later this month at the Lakota Nation Invitational event.

If adopted, the state will create a new football schedule and Hill City players may be traveling further to play their games.

Superintendent Mike Hanson congratulated the Hill City School Board on becoming an Associated School Boards of South Dakota Act, Learn, Lead (ALL) award gold member recipient. ALL allows boards to earn points through participation in activities and training as well as by demonstrating leadership.

The next HCSB meeting will take place on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. in room 202 of the high school.