WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — According to the Connecticut Department of Education, Waterbury saw a rise in standardized test scores in science, math and English language arts compared to the 2021-2022 school year.  

“Writing, reading and math, I saw their skills are getting better,” said Ingrid Galvez, who has children the fourth and 10th grades.  

Other parents are also seeing improvements

“My kids are more focused, and in talking with other parents, I know that they’re happy that they’re back in the classroom with the teacher there, verses the teacher being on the computer,” said Isa Alves, whose two children are the eighth and ninth grades.

The state data measured the Brass City to Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, New London and Windham.  

Waterbury ranked third in English language arts, second in math and third in science. 

Superintendent Verna Ruffin said increasing standardized scores is a priority.   

“It’s very important to us,” Ruffin said. “It’s what people see and how people can interpret, in their opinions, how our district is doing. And for us, that’s what it means too, but it also means are we staying the course and are we on the right track for the next level of student improvement.”   

Ruffin said the boost is thanks, in part, to a program called the 530 Club. It’s meant to help students increase their SAT math scores. 

Ruffin said that free after-school tutoring programs quadrupled scores among Hispanic students and tripled them among female students. 

Ruffin also attributes rising test scores to dedicated teachers, amidst a nationwide teacher shortage.  

“They’re homegrown in Waterbury, they’re committed to Waterbury, and we invest in the people in Waterbury,” Ruffin said. 

While the district is celebrating success, Ruffin said there’s room for improvement.  

“This is great, this is part of our story — but it’s not the end of our story,” she said.