Montana’s only Pre-K through 12th grade classical Christian school, Petra Academy, reports its 12th grade class averaged 6.5 points higher than the state’s ACT average this fall.

As reported by the ACT National Office, the average composite score for Petra’s seniors was 26.3 compared to Montana’s average student composite score of 19.8. Petra’s STEM average composite was 25.3.

The ACT measures college-readiness among high school students and consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in four areas – English, mathematics, reading and science. Petra’s five-year average is 26.2; a perfect score is 36.

According to the report, 100% of Petra’s eight 12th graders tested as “ready for college-level coursework” in college English composition, compared to 51% of Montana seniors. In addition, 92% of Petra’s 12th graders exceeded benchmarks in college algebra and college social science, compared to 34% and 40% of the state’s seniors, respectively.

Petra Headmaster Craig Dunham said the school’s curriculum and teachers are the two main reasons for student success.

“Petra has developed a deep curriculum built on the greatest books and ideas Western Civilization has produced,” Dunham said.“In the hands of our teachers and through their interaction with students, these ideas form our kids in ways that go beyond just good ACT scores. Still, we’re glad to see those as well.”