While ACT scores statewide scored just below the national average, Aiken County School District high school seniors scored well above the state and slightly above the national average, District officials said.

The Aiken School District’s average score across the county was 21.1. That result was higher than the state average of 20.4 and slightly higher than the nation’s average of 21.0.

“These scores have continued over time,” said King Laurence, the associate superintendent for instruction. “It’s not a one-time thing.”

With 96 seniors taking the test, Aiken High had the highest average with 23.6, followed by South Aiken High School (150 students, 22.1) and North Augusta High (165 students (20.9). ACT results are based on 1-36 points for individual students.

The other high school scores were Midland Valley (62 students, 19.7), Silver Bluff (48 students 19.7), Ridge Spring-Monetta (27 students, 18.6), Wagener-Salley (25 students, 16.2) and the Aiken Performing Arts Academy charter school (six students, 18.2).

Mick Zais, the outgoing State Department of Education superintendent, had good things to report on the test results.

“South Carolina students are to be commended for their performance on the 2014 ACT test,” he said in a press release. “While South Carolina’s average ACT composite score was slightly under the national average, its proximity proves that we are making progress. These are positive results that we can build on for the future.”

National ACT officials said that districts and schools with a 0.3-point or higher improvement in their 2013 scores are considered statistically significant. Aiken High had a 0.8-point improvement, while North Augusta had 0.4.

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.