For the first time, Hayden students' average ACT scores last year fell short of state averages in all subjects.
The state requires all high school juniors to take the college entrance exam, which tests students in English, math, reading and science, at the beginning of each school year.
The district recently received overall results for incoming seniors.
The highest a student can score in any section is 36. State averages range from 18.2 percent in English to 19.4 percent in reading.
The average composite score for Hayden students was 18.2, compared with the state average of 19.
Although averages for Hayden students were a percentage point or less below state averages, the scores still were disappointing, Hayden High School counselor Danica Moss said.
Students' scores usually are at or above state averages, and Hayden students typically test particularly well in English, she said.
Moss attributed some of the difference to the school's administrative transition last school year to a new principal and superintendent.
"I think this year there's going to be a big difference," she said.
Some students not headed to universities may have had an apathetic attitude toward the test, she said.
"As a whole, not all of them may have taken it as seriously as they could have," she said.
Colleges typically consider students' index score, a combination of their grade point average and ACT score.
Although essential for college admissions, the test also helps teachers evaluate students' strengths and weaknesses, said Moss, who was entering ACT, CSAP and other test scores into a new database for teachers.
"My first step is to share this data so teachers have it and can use it," she said.
Students received their individual scores last spring, and three opted to retake the test this summer.
ACT testing sessions generally are held every six weeks in Craig or Steamboat Springs.
Students interested in retaking the test should talk to Moss.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail email@example.com.