The latest ACT scores released by the Louisiana Department of Education indicate that Livingston Parish students continue to be among the highest-performing students in the state, a news release from the Livingston Parish school system said.

The Livingston Parish School District ranked fifth in the state with a composite ACT score of 20.5 for the senior class of 2015, the release said. The state average for the class of 2015 was 19.4.

At the same time, more of last year’s seniors within the parish achieved “college-going” scores of 18 or higher on the ACT, which allowed more graduates to enter college without needing to take remedial courses. The number of Livingston Parish seniors who scored an 18 or higher on the ACT during the 2014-15 school year increased by 319 over those achieving the same mark in the 2011-12 school year.

“Our teachers and administrators at the high school level continue to raise the bar and our students continue to meet or exceed those expectations,” Superintendent John Watson said.

He said the improved scores coincide with the local high schools’ increases in the number of students taking honors and Advanced Placement courses.

“More of our students are challenging themselves to complete more rigorous coursework, which in turn, is strengthening their performance on these tests and, ultimately, allowing them a smoother transition into college,” Watson said.

According to the state’s latest report, those districts with the highest composite ACT scores are St. Tammany Parish, 21.5; Central Community Schools, 21.1; Zachary Community Schools, 20.7; Ascension Parish, 20.6; Livingston Parish, 20.5; and West Feliciana Parish, 20.5.

Tracy McRae, supervisor of instruction for Livingston Parish Public Schools, said the parish’s senior class of 2015 showed growth at all levels. She said that on average, the number of seniors scoring 27 or higher on the ACT increased by nearly 1 percent; those scoring 23 or higher on the ACT increased by 2.5 percent; and those scoring 20 or higher on the ACT improved by 9 percent.

“This equates to approximately 131 more seniors in Livingston Parish who may qualify for TOPS than the year before,” McRae said.

She added that, on average, the percentage of 2015 Livingston Parish seniors scoring 18 or higher increased by 6.6 percent.