CARRBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina's Class of 2019 stepped up its SAT game, widening the state's lead with the nation, according to data released by the NC Department of Public Instruction this week.
Public school seniors' average score on the college entrance exam was 52 points higher than the national average, up from last year's 41-point margin.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools came out on top, leading the state with a combined average score of 1,287.
"It's really amazing, the numbers," said Kenneth Proulx, East Chapel Hill High School Principal. "And that really is indicative of work that goes on in the classrooms."
Proulx is in his second year at the helm of East Chapel Hill High, which had a combined score on verbal and math sections of 1,301, the highest of any traditional public high school in the state.
Nearly 70 percent of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools seniors took the SAT, a rarity these days.
In a statement that accompanied the release of the 2019 SAT stats, DPI said fewer students are opting-in ever since the state began requiring and paying for North Carolina 11th graders to take the ACT, a measure also used for college admissions decisions.
Still, Proulx said if you want your child to succeed on the SAT, everyone has to be invested.
"I just think it's coming to school every day and being surrounded by a positive learning environment with teachers that are really caring about the kids and creating high-level academic opportunities in the classroom," he said. "Because it's not just cram for the SAT. It really is doing the work all along the way."