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2017 An Appen Media Group Publication

HELPING STUDENTS REACH THEIR TRUE POTENTIAL The Cottage School has been preparing students who learn differently for the real world since 1985

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Publishers Ray & Christina Appen General Manager Hans Appen Editor

Kathleen Sturgeon kathleen@appenmediagroup.com Editorial Patrick Fox Julia Grochowski Hatcher Hurd Joe Parker Kathleen Sturgeon Candy Waylock Production David Brown AJ McNaughton Suzanne Pacey Advertising Mike Dorman Wendy Goddard Susan Hernandez June Michaels Steve Neese April Thornton Reproduction of the content of the Answer Book—including all maps— is prohibited without expressed written permission. The Answer Book is a trademarked title. All efforts have been made to verify content. Appen Media Group publishes the Seniors Answer Book, the Relocation Answer Book, the Medical Answer Book and the Seniors Answer Book. Online versions are accessible on NorthFulton.com at the bottom of the home page. Contact us at 770-442-3278 or email advertising@ appenmediagroup.com.

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Letter from the editor Welcome to the 2017 Education Answer Book from Appen Media Group. Much of the information in our Answer Books is unique and original because our reporters wrote it. We are especially proud of being able to provide in -the-know articles in the Education Answer Book written by our award-winning veteran education reporter, Candy Waylock, named one of the best education reporters in the state. Our reporters hit the streets to find the most interesting and inspiring school news. Check out the cover spread on page 38 of The Cottage School. I was able to take a small glimpse into the school’s day-to-day schedule, and it was motivating, to say the least. Additionally, we have our usual additions of letters from the Forsyth and Fulton superintendents, updates on local colleges and a directory of Forsyth and Fulton schools. We think there is something in here for everyone interested in local high schools, colleges and everything in between. Because of the great information on our pages, over 90 percent of each edition of the Answer Book’s 40,000 circulations is home-delivered to the most affluent households across the North Atlanta market. This includes many of the exclusive gated estate and country club communities.   After many years, we have built up a large base of other users who rely on our Answer Books as handouts to their clients. This includes large numbers of Realtors, chambers, visitors’ bureaus and human resource departments of major corporations that count on our Answer Books for relocating clients.   If you are a business that needs to reach anyone in the North Atlanta area, make sure you don’t miss advertising in our Answer Books. Our partners and clients advertise in all four because they offer long-lasting marketing in print and online all year long at affordable advertising rates.   If you wish to advertise in the next Answer Book or need copies of an already published edition to give out to your customers, new employees or to keep for yourself, give us a call and we will be more than happy to get them to you.  Call our office at 770-442-3278 or email advertising@AppenMediaGroup. com.   Also, visit NorthFutlon.com and scroll to the bottom of the home page to view a link to the most current edition of each of our publications that you can peruse page by digital page. And, lastly, thank you to you, our readers, for all these years of reading all of Appen’s publications. From everyone at Appen Media Group, thank you so much.


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State of our schools:

Forsyth County W

e know that an exceptional public school district is a large factor in the high quality of life that we enjoy in Cumming-Forsyth County. 2016-17 has been an outstanding year for FCS; highlights include: • Highest ACT score in Georgia • Highest CCRPI score among large districts and in Metro Atlanta • Highest SAT score among large districts and in Metro Atlanta • Highest Financial Efficiency Star Rating among large districts and in Metro Atlanta • Highest graduation rate in Metro Atlanta county districts • AP District Honor Roll (1 of 433 in U.S.) • Awards for 20 schools from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

These accomplishments are the result of FCS having phenomenal teachers and support staff, hardworking students, involved parents and supportive community business partners. This school year the district opened the first phase of capital improvement projects funded by the 2014 million bond referendum. Major construction projects included Brandywine ES and DeSana MS, and large additions at Forsyth Central HS, Lambert HS, North Forsyth HS, South Forsyth MS, South Forsyth HS, and Riverwatch MS. Additions are currently being made 6 | Education Answer Book 2017

Jeff Bearden at West Forsyth HS, and we are constructing the sixth traditional high school, Denmark, named after one of the first female physicians in Georgia, Dr. Leila Denmark, and a new college and career high school, the Alliance Academy for Innovation. Denmark will have the capacity for 2,500 students, while Alliance will be built for 1,200 students and will focus on high career and high demand jobs. Both schools are projected to open the fall of 2018, and the attendance lines for Denmark will not be determined until the fall of 2017. With the opening of the new schools and additional classrooms at existing schools, and also to accommodate the projected student growth for next year, FCS’ opera-

tional budget for 2016-17 is close to $370 million. The budget income is 47.73 percent from local funds and 52.27 percent from state and federal funds, with 73 percent of the district’s expenses tied to instruction. As the largest employer in Forsyth County with over 4,700 staff members, FCS has added 225 new positions this year to support the new schools and growth. This budget was built maintaining the current millage rate, which is the lowest in Metro Atlanta. Yes, in FCS we are making it happen! We are excited for the opportunities that are before us and look forward to working collaboratively to serve all in Forsyth County. Jeff Bearden, Forsyth County Schools Superintendent


State of our schools:

Fulton County I

n November, I had the opportunity to represent Fulton County Schools during my first official State of the Schools Address. The event went well and was attended by hundreds of school, business and community leaders, and I had the chance to outline some of the impressive data points and accomplishments due to the hard work of students and staff. I talked about our 2016 graduation rate, which is now at 86.6 percent and is the highest in any of the large Atlanta Metro districts, and just points away from the district’s 2017 goal of 90 percent. I also talked about the significant ways we are improving our students’ posthigh school outcomes. As you may recall, Fulton County Schools has a five-year strategic plan that launched in 2012 with three main goals – to increase graduation rates as well as improve college and career readiness. Fulton’s Strategic Plan 2017 created clarity for our district’s work and led to significant gains for our district, including our high graduation rates and high ACT and SAT scores. Now that we are nearing the end of our most current strategic plan, we are turning our focus toward the development of our next one. A strategic plan is important because successful organizations – like Fulton County Schools – don’t happen by accident; they happen because their leadership has a vision and a plan for moving forward and building on that success. The development of a new plan provides our district the opportunity to set a new strategy for the future that builds on the district’s record of achievement. Therefore, we are embarking on a new strategic planning process that will ultimately lead to an ambitious, yet actionable strategic plan that is created with deep engagement by the district stakeholders, parents and the community. As a parent or community member, you add an important voice to this process. Later this spring, after we have completed a deep dive into our current state of successes and opportunities, we will come back to the community with our highest-potential priorities for input. When this occurs, I ask that you give your time and honest input so that we can continue to move this good work forward and ensure that our students are being prepared for success in college and in their careers. Quality organizations are constantly learning, innovating and growing, and with your support, Fulton County Schools, will be ready for the next level of focus and improvement. Sincerely, Jeff Rose, Ed.D., Fulton County Schools Superintendent

Jeff Rose

Education Answer Book 2017 | 7


Voters approve SPLOST for fifth time One-cent sales tax to raise $976M for Fulton Schools through 2022 By CANDY WAYLOCK ulton County voters again approved the Education Special Purpose Local Sales Tax in May 2016, directing one penny from every dollar spent in Fulton to local schools through 2022. The current SPLOST sunsets on June 30, 2017. Over the five-year cycle, SPLOST5 is expected to bring in $976 million to fund the Capital Program 2022 plan for Fulton Schools. The funds will be used for renovations and improvements at existing schools, address aging technology, upgrade security and for new buses and furniture.

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In North Fulton, the most prominent project on the SPLOST radar is the building of a STEMfocused school on the site of old Milton High School in downtown Alpharetta. The school will offer a curriculum focused on healthcare, engineering, and computer science. It opens in 2019. Other SPLOST projects planned in North Fulton include the rebuilding of Crabapple Middle School in Roswell, field turf and track surface replacement at high schools and upgrades to middle school media centers.

First passed in 1997, the SPLOST has raised billions of dollars over the past two decades to fund 46 new schools, 37 building additions, renovations, technology upgrades and school buses for the FCSS. The one-cent sales tax was critical in opening new schools to keep up with explosive growth – primarily in North Fulton – over the past 20 years. A recent study showed Fulton Schools would need $475 million through 2022 to keep current buildings functional. Had SPLOST not been approved, school officials were considering an increase in millage rates or a bond referendum. For a complete list of SPLOST projects visit www.fultonschools.


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Georgia schools and information links Important school related websites to give you more information at a glance GAfutures.org- Formerly known as GAcollege411, GAfutures provides a vast amount of information on many subjects for high school students, college students, parents and educators. The website contains many resources to guide upcoming college students through the process of planning their collegiate choice and future career. The site is home to scholarship information, grant applications, financial aid planning and loan program information. For those looking to attend college or current college students, GAfutures is an invaluable resource. GreatSchools.org- GreatSchools is a searchable K-12 school database. Users can find information such as parent reviews, staff, school clubs, enrollment, state test scores and other useful information regarding schools in the area. GreatSchools links with Zillow, a real estate website, to show parents homes for sale in the area of each school searched on the website. Public, private and charter schools are all included. The website has also a free app, GreatSchools Finder and a map-based version of the provided information. FultonSchools.org- Fulton County Board of Education’s website. The site provides news about the school district, school calendars, a list of schools within the county, information about the Fulton County charter plan. Each school in Fulton county has a website linked to the Fulton website and can be found there. Forsyth.k12.ga.us- The Forsyth County Schools website provides a list of all schools included in the county, which includes the county’s three Academies of Creative Education. The site also provides a live 10 | Education Answer Book 2017

feed from Forsyth County School’s District News, which encourages every parent to participate in their community. Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools- www.aaais.org The AAAIS is an organization that connects all Atlanta area independent schools so that educators from independent schools may collaborate. A list of schools within the association can be found on their website. www.doe.k12.ga.us- The Georgia Department of Education’s website is a crucial resource to all students, teachers, and parents in Georgia. The website provides state standards, state mandated testing information, curriculum plans for all grades, and data such as spending, student enrollment, as well as many other statistics. gacs.org- The Georgia Association of Christian Schools is a community of Christian Schools which aims to connect students and staff from different Christian schools to participate in sports, fine arts and writing competitions in order to create a community feel for independent Christian schools across Georgia. Their website, Gacs.org provides information for joining the association. GA Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children- gapsec.org This organization serves as a coordinating point between Georgia private and independent schools with specialized programs catering to special needs children. The schools within this organization must be accredited by notable Georgia accreditation organizations and must be equipped with teachers who will work well with special needs children. Their code of ethics and requirements for membership as well as a list of participating schools can be found on their website.


GA Charter School Association- gacharters. org Provides resources for locating and enrolling in local charter schools. GA Independent School Association- www. gisaschools.org – This website contains information about Georgia independent schools, as well as information about coordinating interaction between independent schools. A list of participating schools can be found on their website. National Christian School Association- The National Christian School Association maintains a list of member schools on their website. The purpose of the National Christian School Association is to promote Christian education. www.nationalchristian.org

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools- The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is an organization that accredits top colleges and schools in the southern United States, however, there is no list of accredited schools on the commission’s website. www.sacs.org The Association of Boarding Schools- The Association of Boarding School’s website provides a database of boarding schools that is sortable by boy to girl ratio, student body size, distance, and the number of boarding students on campus. www.boardingschools.com

Education Answer Book 2017 | 11


Amendment 1 fails in statewide vote Voters reject Deal’s plan to create Opportunity School District By CANDY WAYLOCK y a margin of more than 20 percent, Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature legislation policy went down in defeat Nov. 8 as Georgia voters soundly rejected his plan to fix failing schools. If passed, Amendment One would have created the Opportunity School District (OSD), a state-run school system composed of the state’s lowest performing schools. Instead, voters rejected the initiative, accepting the argument it was an overreach of state government and a loss of local control — and funds. In the Fulton County School System, 10 schools would have been eligible for inclusion in the OSD. The concept of the OSD was narrowly approved

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by the General Assembly in 2015, passing by only one vote. It immediately faced a wave of criticism from nearly every education organization in the state and many local boards of education. Despite the defeat of the OSD, the issue of how to fix failing schools remains a key concern for state education leaders, with many groups indicating they will continue to focus on how best to help all students. “Now that Georgia voters have spoken, it is incumbent on all of us to work together for solutions to improve our failing schools,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and a former superintendent in Fulton County. “There is no quick fix but [we] all have a responsibility.” In comments released after the election, Deal said he would continue to focus on improving the performance of the “more than 68,000 students who remain” in underperforming schools.


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Education Answer Book 2017 | 13


Jeff Rose speaks at Reach Georgia Scholarship event.

Jeff Rose tapped as new Fulton County superintendent By CANDY WAYLOCK eff Rose, Ph.D. was named the superintendent of the Fulton County School System in June 2016, signing a three-year contract that runs through 2019. Previously Rose served as the superintendent of the Beaverton School District in Oregon for the past five years. He replaced Robert Avossa who left Fulton after five years to take the top job in the Palm Beach (Fla.) School System. In accepting the position in Fulton Schools that took him across the country, Rose noted that as a father of two young children, the choice to come to Fulton Schools was more than a professional one. “As a husband and father of

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two children, the schools and community are a great benefit for my family,” said Rose, whose 13-yearold daughter and 11-year-old son now attend Fulton schools. Fulton School Board President Linda McCain said Rose met the criteria established by the board, and matched what constituents indicated they want in a superintendent. In a survey completed prior to the nationwide search to replace Avossa, parents said they wanted a leader with a background in education, strong leadership and communication skills and integrity. McCain said the top job in Fulton Schools requires the business and management skills

found among CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, who can also help the system close the achievement gap and build on the current strengths of the system. Although the Beaverton School District has about half the number of students and schools as Fulton, McCain said the districts share similarities, including a diverse population and high student achievement. Rose has a doctorate in educational leadership and a master’s degree in teacher education from Lewis & Clark College in Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in education from California State University, Long Beach.


Forsyth Schools earns highest financial efficiency rating in metro Atlanta District rates 5 stars for second year in row By KATHLEEN STURGEON or the second year, Forsyth County Schools has earned the highest financial efficiency rating from the Georgia Department of Education. The district won the highest and only 5-star among metro Atlanta districts and large districts, of 7,000 or more students, in Georgia. The Financial Efficiency Star Rating provides a measure of a local school district’s per-pupil spending in relation to the academic achievements of its students. Specifically, the rating is based on a three-year average of per-pupil spending, which is then associated with the district’s College and Career Ready Performance Index score. Additionally, the state recently released the 2016 school climate star ratings. Georgia is the first state in the nation to include school climate as an early indicator in its academic accountability system, the College and Career Ready Performance Index. State law requires the development and use of a “star rating” to address school climate. The School Climate Star Rating is a diagnostic tool to determine if a school is on the right path to school improvement. The School Climate Star Rating is calculated using data from the Georgia Student Health Survey 2.0, Georgia School Personnel Survey, Georgia Parent Survey, student discipline data and attendance records for students, teachers, staff and administrators. School Climate star ratings reflect school level data and are not applied at the district level. But Forsyth schools received between 5 stars and 2 stars. Sharon ES, Riverwatch MS, Shiloh Point ES, Johns Creek ES, Vickery Creek ES, Vickery Creek MS, Otwell MS, Little Mill MS, Lakeside MS, Liberty MS, Piney

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Grove MS, North Forsyth MS and South Forsyth MS all earned 5 stars. Kelly Mill ES was the only Forsyth school to earn a 2 star rating. “We’re committed to providing – in a responsible fashion – information on school performance for the use of educators, parents, and communities,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “The Financial Efficiency Star Rating helps stakeholders see how districts are using the funds they’re allotted, providing a baseline for future conversations, while the School Climate Star Rating gives a clear overview of the climate and culture within a school, which is a crucial factor for student success. The School Climate rating, in particular, has clear ties to student achievement – and to third grade reading, which is a major predictor of students’ later success.” Statewide, for the School Climate Star Ratings, 15 percent of schools earned a 5-star rating, an increase of 3.6 percentage points in the number of schools earning the top rating. For the Financial Efficiency Star Rating, 1.1 percent of districts earned a 5-star rating, 4.4 percent earned 4.5 stars, 12.8 percent earned 4 stars, 19.4 percent earned 3.5 stars, 17.2 percent earned 3 stars, 20.6 percent earned 2.5 stars, 12.8 percent earned 2 stars, 6.7 percent earned 1.5 stars, 5 percent earned 1 star, and no school districts earned 0.5 stars. According to the Georgia Department of Education, each district receives a rating ranging from one-half star to five stars. A five-star district can be described as having strong academic outcomes and lower levels of expenditures in comparison with other districts. This year’s ratings are based on data from the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years. Fulton County earned 2.5 stars, Hall earned 4 stars, Dawson earned 2.5 stars, Gwinnett earned 4.5 stars, Gainesville earned 3 stars and Cherokee earned 4 stars. Education Answer Book 2017 | 15


Public School Bios: FULTON The CCRPI (College and Career Readiness Performance Index) assesses all public schools annually on a 100-point scale based on achievement, progress and closing the achievement gap.

Elementary Schools

Abbotts Hill 470-254-2860 Principal Roytunda Stabler 5575 Abbotts Bridge Road Johns Creek 30097 Year Opened: 2000 Enrollment: 701 CCRPI Score: 88.1 http://school.fultonschools.org/es/ abbottshill/Pages/default.aspx Alpharetta 470-254-7015 Principal Coretta Stewart 192 Mayfield Road Alpharetta 30009 Year Opened: 1956 Enrollment: 564 CCRPI Score: 91 http://fultonschools.org/es/ alpharettaelementary/Pages/ default.aspx Amana Academy Charter (K-8) 678-624-0989 Principal Cherrise Campbell 285 South Main Street Alpharetta 30009 Year Opened: 2007 Enrollment: 725 CCRPI Score: 75.4/90.6 www.amanaacademy.org Barnwell 470-254-4960 Principal Martin Neuhaus 9425 Barnwell Road Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 1987 Enrollment: 791 CCRPI Score: 89.3 http://fultonschools.org/es/ barnwell/Pages/default.aspx

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Birmingham Falls 470- 254-2820 Principal Windy Bottoms 14865 Birmingham Highway Milton 30004 Year Opened: August 2009 Enrollment: 751 CCRPI Score: 85 http://fultonschools.org/es/ birminghamfalls/Pages/default.aspx

Dolvin 470-254-7020 Principal Laura Zoll 10495 Jones Bridge Road Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 1979 Enrollment: 859 CCRPI Score: 88.9 http://fultonschools.org/es/dolvin/ Pages/default.aspx

Cogburn Woods 470-254-2845 Principal Lisa Garosi 13080 Cogburn Road Milton 30004 Year Opened: 2004 Enrollment: 905 CCRPI Score: 89.9 http://fultonschools.org/es/ cogburnwoods/Pages/default.aspx Crabapple Crossing 470-254-7055 Principal Rachel Williams 12775 Birmingham Hwy Milton 30004 Year Opened: 1992 Enrollment: 777 CCRPI Score: 88 http://fultonschools.org/es/ crabapplecrossing/Pages/default. aspx

Esther Jackson 470-254-5290 Principal Jennifer Cassidy 1400 Martin Road Roswell 30076 Year Opened: 1975 New Building: 2016 Enrollment: 667 CCRPI Score: 67.9 http://fultonschools.org/es/ estherjackson/Pages/default.aspx

Creek View 470-254-2932 Principal Debra Doss 3995 Webb Bridge Road Alpharetta 30005 Year Opened: 2001 Enrollment: 890 CCRPI Score: 92.3 http://fultonschools.org/es/ creekview/Pages/default.aspx

Findley Oaks 470-254-3800 Principal Lacey Andrews 5880 Findley Chase Drive Johns Creek 30097 Year Opened: 1994 Enrollment: 637 CCRPI Score: 97.6 http://fultonschools.org/es/ findleyoaks/Pages/default.aspx

Fulton Academy of Science and Technology (FAST) (K-8) 678-783-6345 Principal Annette Higgins 11365 Crabapple Road Roswell 30075 Year Opened: 2016 Enrollment: 477 www.fastk8.org


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public school bios

Hembree Springs 470-254-2902 Principal Laurie Woodruff 815 Hembree Road Roswell 30076 Year Opened: 2001 Enrollment: 650 CCRPI Score: 80.2 http://fultonschools.org/ es/hembreesprings/Pages/ default.aspx

Hillside 470-254-6362 Principal Maisha Otway 9250 Scott Road Roswell 30076 Year Opened: 2001 Enrollment: 520 CCRPI Score: 64.6 http://fultonschools.org/es/hillside/ Pages/default.aspx   Lake Windward 470-254-7050 Principal Julie Morris 11470 East Fox Court Alpharetta 30005 Year Opened: 1989 Enrollment: 695 CCRPI Score: 100.4 http://fultonschools.org/es/ lakewindward/Pages/default.aspx   Manning Oaks 470-254-2912 Principal Don Webb 405 Cumming Street Alpharetta 30004 Year Opened: 1998 Enrollment: 854 CCRPI Score: 79.6 http://fultonschools.org/es/ manningoaks/Pages/default.aspx Medlock Bridge 470-254-2980 Principal Tiffany Hutchens 10215 Medlock Bridge Parkway Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 1990 Enrollment: 686 CCRPI Score: 85.5 http://fultonschools.org/es/ medlockbridge/Pages/default.aspx   18 | Education Answer Book 2017

Mimosa 470-254-4540 Principal Ariane Holcombe 1550 Warsaw Road Roswell 30076 Year Opened: 1968 Enrollment: 815 CCRPI Score: 57.8 http://fultonschools.org/es/mimosa/ Pages/default.aspx Mountain Park 470-254-4530 Principal Stacy Perlman 11895 Mountain Park Road Roswell 30075 Enrollment: 805 CCRPI Score: 79 http://fultonschools.org/es/ mountainpark/Pages/default.aspx   New Prospect 470-254-2800 Principal Mary Robson 3055 Kimball Bridge Road Alpharetta 30022 Year Opened: 1994 Enrollment: 568 CCRPI Score: 95.1 http://fultonschools.org/es/ newprospect/Pages/default.aspx   Northwood 470-254-6390 Principal Ritu Ahuja 10200 Wooten Road Roswell 30076 Year Opened: 1996 Enrollment: 714 CCRPI Score: 86.4 http://fultonschools.org/es/ northwood/Pages/default.aspx   Ocee 470-254-2960 Principal Deborah Pernice 4375 Kimball Bridge Road Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 2000 Enrollment: 758 CCRPI Score: 96.1 http://fultonschools.org/es/ocee/ Pages/default.aspx  

River Eves 470-254-4550 Principal Neil Pinnock 9000 Eves Road Roswell 30076 Year Opened: 1996 Enrollment: 619 CCRPI Score: 87.5 http://fultonschools.org/es/ rivereves/Pages/default.aspx Roswell North 470-254-6320 Principal Maureen Lilly 10525 Woodstock Road Roswell 30075 Year Opened: 1960 Enrollment: 923 CCRPI Score: 73.7 http://fultonschools.org/es/ roswellnorth/Pages/default.aspx   Shakerag 470-254-3880 Principal Christine Lemerond 10885 Rogers Circle Johns Creek 30097 Year Opened: 1997 Enrollment: 728 CCRPI Score: 96 http://fultonschools.org/es/ shakerag/Pages/default.aspx   State Bridge Crossing 470-254-3850 Principal Bridgette Marques 5530 State Bridge Road Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 1996 Enrollment: 817 CCRPI Score: 90.2 http://fultonschools.org/es/ statebridgecrossing/Pages/default. aspx   Summit Hill 470-254-2830 Principal Latoya Gray 13855 Providence Road Milton 30004 Year Opened: 1999 Enrollment: 721 CCRPI Score: 88.4 http://fultonschools.org/es/ summithill/Pages/default.aspx  


Middle Schools

Autrey Mill Middle 470-254-7622 Principal Trey Martin 4110 Old Alabama Road Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 2003 Enrollment: 1475 CCRPI Score: 88.3 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ autreymill/Pages/default.aspx Crabapple 470-254-4520 Principal Rako Morrissey 10700 Crabapple Road Roswell 30075 Year Opened: 1983 Enrollment: 973 CCRPI Score: 82.9 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ crabapple/Pages/default.aspx Elkins Pointe 470-254-2892 Principal Kindra Smith 11290 Elkins Road Roswell 30076 Year Opened: 2001 Enrollment: 1050 CCRPI Score: 72.4 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ elkinspointe/Pages/default.aspx  

public school bios

Sweet Apple 470-254-3310 Principal Andy Allison 12025 Etris Road Roswell 30075 Year Opened: 1997 Enrollment: 791 CCRPI Score: 95.6 http://fultonschools.org/es/ sweetapple/Pages/default.aspx Wilson Creek 470-254-3811 Principal Andrea Cushing 6155 Wilson Road Johns Creek 30097 Year Opened: 2004 Enrollment: 813 CCRPI Score: 97.6 http://fultonschools.org/es/ wilsoncreek/Pages/default.aspx

Haynes Bridge 470-254-7030 Principal Lauren Seidman 10665 Haynes Bridge Road Alpharetta 30022 Year Opened: 1983 Enrollment: 787 CCRPI Score: 69.1 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ haynesbridge/Pages/default.aspx Holcomb Bridge 470-254-5280 Principal Christopher Shearer 2700 Holcomb Bridge Road Alpharetta 30022 Year Opened: 1983 Enrollment: 759 CCRPI Score: 66.6 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ holcombbridge/Pages/default.aspx   Hopewell 678-254-3240 Principal Michael LeMoyne 13060 Cogburn Road Milton 30004 Year Opened: 2004 Enrollment: 1498 CCRPI Score: 90.2 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ hopewell/Pages/default.aspx

Taylor Road 470-254-7090 Principal Edward Williamson 5150 Taylor Road Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 1990 Enrollment: 1338 CCRPI Score: 86 http://school.fultonschools. org/ms/taylorroad/Pages/ default.aspx Vickery Mill 470-254-2400 Principal Adam Maroney 1201 Alpharetta Street Roswell 30075 Year Opened: 2015 Enrollment: 573 http://school.fultonschools.org/es/ vickerymill/Pages/default.aspx

Northwestern 470-254-2870 Principal Charles Chester 12805 Birmingham Highway Milton 30004 Year Opened: 1996 Enrollment: 1355 CCRPI Score: 95.7 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ northwestern/Pages/default.aspx River Trail 470-254-3860 Principal Dawn Melin 10795 Rogers Circle Johns Creek 30097 Year Opened: 2001 Enrollment: 1179 CCRPI Score: 97.1 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ rivertrail/Pages/default.aspx  

High Schools

Webb Bridge 470-254-2940 Principal Susan Opferman 4455 Webb Bridge Road Alpharetta 30005 Year Opened: 1996 Enrollment: 1271 CCRPI Score: 93.4 http://school.fultonschools.org/ms/ webbbridge/Pages/default.aspx

Alpharetta High School 470-254-7640 Principal Shannon Kersey 3595 Webb Bridge Rd. Alpharetta 30005 Year Opened: 2004 Enrollment: 2132 2016 SAT Score: 1714 2016 ACT Score: 25.9 http://school.fultonschools.org/hs/ alpharetta/pages/default.aspx Cambridge 470-254-2883 Principal Ed Spurka 2845 Bethany Road Milton 30004 Year Opened: 2012 Enrollment: 1979 2016 SAT Score: 1678 2016 ACT Score: 25.6 http://school.fultonschools.org/hs/ cambridge/pages/default.aspx Education Answer Book 2017 | 19


public school bios

Centennial 470-254-4230 Principal Kibbey Crumbley 9310 Scott Road Roswell 30076 Year Opened: 1997 Enrollment: 1990 2016 SAT Score: 1482 2016 ACT Score: 23.8 http://school.fultonschools. org/hs/centennial/pages/ default.aspx Chattahoochee 470-254-7600 Principal Tim Corrigan 5230 Taylor Road Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 1991 Enrollment: 1953 2016 SAT Score: 1709 2016 ACT Score: 26.1 http://school.fultonschools.org/hs/ chattahoochee/pages/default.aspx Independence 470-254-7611 Principal Tabatha Taylor 86 School Drive

Alpharetta 30009 Year Opened: 1991 Enrollment: 213 2016 SAT Score: 1333 2016 ACT Score: 16.5 http://school.fultonschools.org/hs/ independence/pages/default.aspx Johns Creek 470-254-2138 Principal Jimmy Zoll 5575 State Bridge Road Johns Creek 30022 Year Opened: 2009 Enrollment: 2078 2016 SAT Score: 1730 2016 ACT Score: 26.8 http://school.fultonschools.org/hs/ johnscreek/pages/default.aspx Milton 470-254-7000 Principal Brian Jones 13025 Birmingham Hwy. Milton 30004 Year Opened: 1921 Current Location: 2005 Enrollment: 2291 2016 SAT Score: 1651

Celebrating 35 years of Montessori Education

2016 ACT Score: 24.8 http://school.fultonschools.org/hs/ milton/pages/default.aspx Northview 470-254-3828 Principal Brian Downey 10625 Parsons Road Johns Creek 30097 Year Opened: 2002 Enrollment: 1822 2016 SAT Score: 1810 2016 ACT Score: 27.2 http://school.fultonschools.org/hs/ northview/pages/default.aspx Roswell 470-254-4500 Principal Jerome Huff 11595 King Road Roswell 30075 Year Opened: 1949 New Building: 1990 Enrollment: 2218 2016 SAT Score: 1654 2016 ACT Score: 24.7 http://school.fultonschools.org/hs/ roswell/pages/default.aspx

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Public School Bios: FORSYTH Elementary Schools Big Creek 770-887-4584 Principal: Sherri Black 1994 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 1939 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/1718 Brandywine 770-887-2461 Principal: Todd Smith 175 Martin Drive, Alpharetta, Georgia 30004 Year opened: 2016 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ brandywine Brookwood 678-965-5060 Principal: Kathie Braswell 2980 Vaughan Drive Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 2009 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/25122 Chattahoochee 770-781-2240 Principal: Barbara Vella 2800 Holtzclaw Road Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 1993 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/2469 Chestatee 770-781-2240 Principal: Polly Tennies 6945 Keith Bridge Road Gainesville, Georgia 30506

Year Opened: 1931 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/3214 Coal Mountain 770-887-7705 Principal: Kimberly Davis 3455 Coal Mountain Drive Cumming, Georgia 30028 Year Opened: 1981 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/4183 Cumming 770-887-7705 Principal: Lee Anne Rice 3455 Coal Mountain Drive Cumming, Georgia 30028 Year Opened: 1961 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/5720 Daves Creek 770-888-1222 Principal: Eric Ashton 3740 Melody Mizer Lane Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 1997 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/6662 Haw Creek 678-965-5070 Principal: June Tribble 2555 Echols Road Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 2009 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/27039

Johns Creek 678-965-5041 Principal: Alyssa Degliumberto 6205 Old Atlanta Road Suwanee, Georgia 30024 Year Opened: 2007 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/23524 Kelly Mill 678-965-4953 Principal: Ron McAllister 1180 Chamblee Gap Road Cumming, Georgia 30040 Year Opened: 2012 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Domain/3436 Mashburn 770-889-1630 Principal: Tracey Smith 3777 Samples Road Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 1976 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/Page/8280 Matt 678-455-4500 Principal: Charlley Stalder 7455 Wallace Tatum Road Cumming, Georgia 30028 Year Opened: 2001 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/Page/9188 Midway 770-475-6670 Principal: Jan Munroe 4805 Atlanta Hwy Alpharetta, Georgia 30004 Year Opened: 1961 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/10601 Education Answer Book 2017 | 21


public school bios

Vickery Creek 770-346-0040 Principal: Kristan Riedinger 6280 Post Road Cumming, Georgia 30040 Year Opened: 1997 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/18942

Little Mill 678-965-5000 Principal: Connie McCrary 6800 Little Mill Road Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 2007 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/21087

Settles Bridge 770-887-1883 Principal: Sarah Von Esh 600 James Burgess Road Suwanee, Georgia 30024 Year Opened: 2000 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/13604

Whitlow 678-965-5090 Principal: Dr. Lynne Castleberry 3655 Castleberry Road Cumming, Georgia 30040 Year Opened: 2009 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/25928

North Forsyth 770-889-0743 Principal: Tom McClelland 3645 Coal Mountain Drive Cumming, Georgia 30028 Year Opened: 1981 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/20652

Sharon 770-888-7511 Principal: Amy Bartlett 3595 Old Atlanta Road Suwanee, Georgia 30024 Year Opened: 2003 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/14829

Middle Schools:

Otwell 770-887-5248 Principal: Steve Miller 605 Tribble Gap Road Cumming, Georgia 30040 Year Opened: 2001 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/20786

Sawnee 770-887-6161 Principal: Eileen Nix 1616 Canton Highway Cumming, Georgia 30040 Year Opened: 1968 http://www.forsyth.k12. ga.us/Page/11546

Shiloh Point 678-341-6481 Principal: Derrick Hershey 8145 Majors Road Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 2006 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/17240 Silver City 678-965-5020 Principal: Paige Andrews 6200 Dahlonega Hwy Cumming, GA 30028 Year Opened: 2007 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/16162

22 | Education Answer Book 2017

DeSana 770-887-2461 Principal: Terri North 625 James Road Alpharetta, Georgia 30004 Year opened: 2016 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ desana Lakeside 678-965-5080 Principal: Kim Head 2565 Echols Road Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 2009 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/27718 Liberty 770-781-4889 Principal: Cheryl Riddle 7465 Wallace Tatum Road Cumming, Georgia 30028 Year Opened: 2002 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/20472

Piney Grove 678-965-5010 Principal: Pam Pajerski 8135 Majors Road Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 2006 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/24407 Riverwatch 678-455-7311 Principal: Kathy Carpenter 610 James Burgess Rd. Suwanee, Georgia 30024 Year Opened: 2003 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/20928


Vickery Creek 770-667-2580 Principal: Drew Hayes 6240 Post Road Cumming, Georgia 30040 Year Opened: 1999 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/21341

High Schools Forsyth Central 770-887-8151 Principal: Mitch Young 520 Tribble Gap Road Cumming, Georgia 30040

Year Opened: 1955 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/21574 Lambert 678-965-5050 Principal: Gary Davison 805 Nichols Road Suwanee, Georgia 30024 Year Opened: 2009 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/24754 North Forsyth 770-781-6637 Principal: Jeff Cheney 3635 Coal Mountain Drive Cumming, Georgia 30028 Year Opened: 1994 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/21850

South Forsyth 770-781-2264 Principal: Laura Wilson 585 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 1989 http://www.forsyth.k12. ga.us/Page/22252

public school bios

South Forsyth 770-888-3170 Principal: Sandy Tinsley 4670 Windermere Pkwy. Cumming, Georgia 30041 Year Opened: 1999 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/21183

West Forsyth 770-888-3470 Principal: Heather Gordy 4155 Drew Road Cumming, Georgia 30040 Year Opened: 2007 http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/ Page/22982

Education Answer Book 2017 | 23


New schools open in North Fulton for the 2016-17 school year By CANDY WAYLOCK ickery Creek Elementary and the Fulton Academy of Science and Math charter school welcomed their inaugural classes in August for the 2016-17 school year after months of preparation for their openings. Both schools are located in Roswell. “We are ready to go,” said Vickery Creek Principal Adam Maroney. “There is an excitement in the building about our first year. Teachers, students, and parents all appear to be eager for the start of the new year.” The opening day kinks at Vickery Creek – as far as the facilities are concerned – were rare, since the building has already been road tested. Last year, the school served as the “swing school” for Esther Jackson Elementary students while that school was being rebuilt down the road. But it’s all Vickery Creek now, with new school colors (royal blue and apple green), a new mascot (owl),

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24 | Education Answer Book 2017

and new staff and students roaming the hallways. Across town on Crabapple Road, students were welcomed as FAST opened its doors as the area’s newest charter school. FAST’s curriculum focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with an emphasis on innovation and problem solving. The K-7 school is opening at full capacity this year; expanding to 8th grade next year. Since planning began two years ago, FAST has become a school for the community with ownership equally shared by parents, teachers, and administration, said Phillip Chen, who led the drive to open the school. “We’ve had dads, on last minute notice, come help mow the grass over a holiday weekend,” said Chen. “Parents have helped organize and participate in drop off and pick up flow so that teachers can focus on their lesson planning.”


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Woodward North Pre-K to 6 Johns Creek Education Answer Book 2017 | 25


Forsyth Coutny School Calendars April ‘17

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26 | Education Answer Book 2017

Preplanning/Post Planning Day


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Education Answer Book 2017 | 27


Sharon ES receives national Blue Ribbon designation 1 of 7 in Georgia By KATHLEEN STURGEON haron Elementary School was one of seven Georgia public schools named 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools recently. Principal Amy Bartlett said the school is honored to achieve this level of national distinction. “This recognition is a direct result of the collaborative partnership that exists between our students, staff, parents and community,” she said. “Collectively, we are committed to providing an education that encompasses strong relationships, continuous improvement and innovation.” Blue Ribbon Schools are recognized in two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels. Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates for each subgroup are at high levels. “These Georgia schools are to be commended for their outstand-

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28 | Education Answer Book 2017

ing student performance,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “They are doing an excellent job making sure all students are ready to learn, ready to live and ready to lead. To every one of the teachers and leaders in these schools – thank you for the incredible work you’re doing on behalf of the children of our state.” Part of the school’s presentation said it is highly committed to providing well-rounded, rigorous and authentic learning for all students. “Our school encompasses a collaborative team of educators dedicated to preparing our 21st-Century learners for college, careers and beyond,” the presentation said. “Our teachers utilize a variety of instructional methods, research-based strategies, and innovative tools to provide challenging, engaging and authentic learning experiences at every grade level. Keeping students at the focus of our instructional practices, we know we are shaping future leaders, lifelong learners, critical and creative problem solvers, as well as effective communicators.” Strong parents and school relationships are at Sharon’s core, influencing the positive culture and high academic achievement at the school. On any given day, parents work with learners on a variety of academic activities, the presentation said. The school’s nationally recognized PTA supports Sharon by

providing educational enrichment in literacy, math, science, social studies, technology and the arts. “Sharon Elementary prides itself on innovation and providing challenging learning experiences which incorporate latest trends in educational technology and instructional methodologies,” the presentation said. “Our students are active learners and immersed in meaningful, experiential learning. The creation of a science lab, outdoor classroom, along with a media center renovation and emphasis on technology integration have fostered a meaningful and authentic application of learning. Our students and teachers are empowered to embrace challenges, become self-directed learners, and think beyond self-perceived limits.” Other Forsyth County schools that have received the National Blue Ribbon designation include Otwell MS, Big Creek ES, Daves Creek ES, South Forsyth MS and Johns Creek ES. The other six Georgia schools with this year’s recognition are Morningside Elementary (Atlanta Public Schools), Mount Bethel Elementary (Cobb County Schools), Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology (Gwinnett County Schools), Newton County Theme School at Ficquett (Newton County Schools), Midway Elementary (Pierce County Schools) and Jacob G. Smith Elementary (Savannah-Chatham County Schools).


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Education Answer Book 2017 | 29


Meet the superintendent and the board of education Forsyth County Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden jbearden@forsyth.k12.ga.us Began term September 2014 Dr. Jeff Bearden joined Forsyth County Schools as superintendent on Sept. 2, 2014. Bearden has served as a school executive for over 25 years. Prior to joining Forsyth County, he was superintendent of Rome City Schools and Fayette County Schools. Bearden spent the first part of his educational career in Maine where he served as superintendent of the Maine School Administrative District No. 35 and the Limestone School Department. Bearden also served as an assistant superintendent, assistant principal and district athletic director. He taught social studies and language arts, and was a varsity basketball coach. A Georgia native, Bearden holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Maine, and a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Additionally, he is a third-generation veteran of the U.S Air Force. Bearden is a member of Georgia School Superintendents Association and the American Association of School Administrators. He was also appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the Governor’s Education Advisory Board.

Forsyth Board of Education Members Ann Crow Board Member for District 1 ACrow@forsyth.k12.ga.us Began her third term January 2011 Ann Crow, an Atlanta native, graduated from Auburn University and became a Forsyth County resident in 1984. Crow is president of Matrix TBSC-Cumming Inc., a business service and accounting firm. She also serves as the director of the Georgia School Board Association. Vice Chairperson Kristin Morrissey Board Member for District 2 kmorrissey@forsyth.k12.ga.us Began term January 2011 A seven-year resident of Forsyth County, Kristin Morrissey studied microelectronic engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology and received her degree in computer science from Monroe Community College. She worked in corporate training at Eastman Kodak and later retired from the Rochester Public Library/Monroe County Library System after 16 years of service, where she served as a library automation specialist and trainer. Morrissey is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Forsyth and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Regional Economic and Leadership Development.

Tom Cleveland Board Member for District 3 TCleveland@forsyth.k12.ga.us Began third term January 2013 Mr. Cleveland served as the co-chair of the Vision 2010 steering committee, member of the teacher of the year selection committee, sex education committee and other various roles in the school system. He currently serves as a worship team member at First Baptist Cumming, a disaster assistance team member with the American Red Cross and a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services group within the county. Chairperson Darla Light Board Member for District 4 dlight@forsyth.k12.ga.us Began second term January 2013 Raised in Forsyth County, Darla Light graduated from Forsyth County High School and attended the University of Georgia, where she majored in special education. Light has served as an elementary PTSO officer for three years, a middle school PTSO officer for two years and coached middle school basketball. Nancy Roche Board Member for District 5 NRoche@forsyth.k12.ga.us Began fourth term January 2013 Nancy Roche has served on the Board of Education since 2001. She previously worked as a systems analyst for IBM and holds Continued on page 32 ...

30 | Education Answer Book 2017


Education Answer Book 2017 | 31


Meet the superintendent and the board of education continued a bachelor’s degree in math and computer science. Roche was instrumental in the board earning the title of Most Tech-Savvy Board for Large School Systems in 2005 and for the system being recognized as a National Salute District for Technology in 2007. She served as chair of the board in 2003 and from 2005-2008. She was appointed to the Georgia School Board Association’s board of directors in June 2007 for District 9. She has served for GSBA on the Strategic Planning Committee, the Governmental Operations Committee and the Nominating Committee and serves as a GSBA presenter and a mentor for new board members.

Fulton County Superintendent Jeff Rose, Ph.D Dr. Jeff Rose joined Fulton County Schools as its Superintendent of Schools in June 2016, and is responsible for the leadership, administration and management of the state’s fourth largest school system. Prior to joining Fulton Schools, Rose served for five years as superintendent of Beaverton School District, Oregon’s third largest school system located near Portland. During his two decades in education, Rose has been an educational assistant, classroom teacher, principal, director of school improvement and the superintendent of schools in Canby School

District (Oregon). He earned his Doctorate and Master of Education degrees from Lewis and Clark College and holds an undergraduate degree in education from Long Beach State. Rose and his wife, Lisa, have two school-aged children who attend Fulton County Schools.

North Fulton County Board of Education Vice President Linda McCain, District 5 mccainl@fultonschools.org  Board member since January 2011; current term expires Dec. 31, 2018 Linda McCain represents the Johns Creek and Alpharetta areas, and currently serves as the board’s president. She was first elected to the school board in 2010, and was re-elected to her second term in 2014. She was a member of the board of directors of the Fulton County Schools Employees’ Pension Fund and is a current board member of the Fulton Education Foundation. In December 2014, she was appointed to serve on Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Advisory Board. Katha Stuart, District 1 stuartk@fultonschools.org  Board member since October 2015; term expires Dec. 31, 2020 A 20-year resident of District 1, Katha Stuart has been involved in Fulton County Schools since her children started kindergarten at

Mountain Park Elementary. Over the years she has served in various PTA and School Governance Council roles at Mountain Park Elementary, Crabapple Middle School and Roswell High School. She also has been a part of the Superintendent’s Community Advisory Committee since 2009. At the local and state PTA level, she has served as a vice president of programs for the North Fulton Council PTA and as a committee member for the Georgia PTA. Stuart has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Georgia State University. Katie Reeves, District 2 reevesk@fultonschools.org  Board member since 1999; current term expires Dec. 31, 2018 The longest-serving member of the North Fulton board representatives, Reeves has been active in the North Fulton community for many years. She served on the Alpharetta Planning Commission for four years prior to her election to the school board in 1999. She represents the Alpharetta and Milton areas, served as the school board president from 2003-2005, and also served as vice president of the board. Reeves has been a Local School Advisory Committee member and PTA legislative chair at Lake Windward Elementary School. A native of Pennsylvania, Reeves majored in marketing at the University of Kentucky and worked for a number of years as an advertising account executive. Gail Dean, District 3 deang@fultonschools.org  Board member since 2001; current term expires Dec. 31, 2020 Continued on page 34 ...

32 | Education Answer Book 2017


Education Answer Book 2017 | 33


THINK LEARN TEACH

DIFFERENTLY

Meet the superintendent and the board of education continued Gail Dean represents Sandy Springs, Hapeville and parts of East Point. She served as board president from 2005 to 2007. Dean’s background includes serving as president of the Atlanta Homebuilders Association-Inner Atlanta Chapter, owning a real estate brokerage and two construction firms, and consulting for financial institutions throughout the Southeast. She has served on the boards of the Sandy Springs/North Fulton Clean and Beautiful, the Fulton County School Employees’ Charitable Fund and Fulton Education Foundation as well as the Fulton Employees’ Pension Board.

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Julia Bernath, District 7 bernath@fultonschools.org Board member since 2000; current term expires Dec. 31, 2018 Julia Bernath has served as the board president and vice president, and represented the school board on the Fulton Education Foundation’s board of directors. She currently serves on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, as well as on a number of statewide education committees.  Bernath is an active on the Georgia School Boards Association, is past president of the organization and a graduate of Leadership GSBA. She is also on staff for the Center for Reform of School Systems and is a mentor for school board members locally, statewide and nationally.  Bernath is past chair of the Sandy Springs Education Force and serves on the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s Advisory Committee.

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34 | Education Answer Book 2017

President Linda Bryant, District 4 bryantlp@fultonschools.org Board member since 1993; current term expires Dec. 31, 2020 Catherine Maddox, District 6 maddoxc@fultonschools.org Board member since 2007; current term expires Dec. 31, 2018


Forsyth County Schools rank high in state All elementary in top 100 schools By KATHLEEN STURGEON recent list of rankings of the top schools in Georgia by Niche shows that Forsyth County Schools are not only ranked fifth in the state, but individual schools rank pretty high themselves. The rankings are based on “statistics, student and parent reviews, and expert insights. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, student and parent reviews, and more,” according to Niche, a ranking and review website. Forsyth’s elementary schools, all of which are in the top 100, receive a gold star for their rankings. Out of the 20 elementary schools in the district, seven are in the top 20 and 14 are in the top 50. The lowest ranked elementary school was at No. 62. The county’s nine middle schools were ranked from No. 3 to

A

No. 28. Four of the five high schools were in the top 10, with the fifth landing the No. 136 spot. The complete rankings are: Elementary schools Cumming: No. 7 Whitlow: No. 8 Johns Creek: No. 11 Daves Creek: No. 12 Shiloh Point: No. 14 Settles Bridge: No. 17 Midway: No. 20 Mashburn: No. 21 Sawnee: No. 22 Chestatee: No. 23 Chattahoochee: No. 25 Big Creek: No. 28 Coal Mountain: No. 32 Brookwood: No. 46 Silver City: No. 55 Kelly Mill: No. 58 Vickery Creek: No. 59 Sharon: No. 60 Matt: No. 61 Haw Creek: No. 62

Middle schools Otwell: No. 3 Piney Grove: No. 4 Little Mill: No. 5 Lakeside: No. 7 Liberty: No. 15 Riverwatch: No. 17 South Forsyth: No. 18 Vickery Creek: No. 19 North Forsyth: No. 28 High schools Lambert: No. 4 South Forsyth: No. 8 West Forsyth: No. 49 Forsyth Central: No. 79 North Forsyth: No. 136

Education Answer Book 2017 | 35


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36 | Education Answer Book 2017


aracter. Students

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nner Band and Orchestra•Coding Classes•Small Class Sizes Well-Rounded Educational Programs•Strong Academics Performing Arts Courses•Athletic Opportunities Clubs & Extracurricular Activities•Internationally Recognized Academic Teams•Competitive Tuition Rates•Family-Oriented Environment•International Field Trips•Grade Level Acceleration/ Progression Opportunities•College Enrichment, Readiness, Preparation Courses•Character Education•Foreign Language FSA ACADEMIC TEAM AWARDS AND ACADEMIC COMPETITIONS • Won 1st Place in the 2016 State Math Counts competition and advanced to nationals in Washington, D.C. • Won the 2016 Innovation & Strategy Award in the North American Lego League, CA. • Won 1st Place in the “Write It-Do It” event in the 2016 National Science Olympiad, WI. • Represented the state of Georgia in the 2016 International Model United Nations Competition, NY. • Represented the state of Georgia in the 2016 Global Destination Imagination finals, TN. Enrollment is open to all Georgia residents. Competitive Admission Criteria Fulton Science Academy•3035 Fanfare Way•Alpharetta, Georgia 30009 www.fultonscienceacademy.org•678.366.2555 admissions@fultonscienceacademy.org Education Answer Book 2017 | 37


The Cottage School — An approach as unique as your student School has 32 years of experience in Roswell By KATHLEEN STURGEON

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t The Cottage School in Roswell, Head of School Steven Palmer leads with the mindset of focusing on each student’s unique abilities. Palmer keeps the school’s mission posted in his office, so when new parents come in, they learn what the school is all about. The mission, which he also embraces daily, is, “building a sense of self for students with special learning needs through academic and experiential programing, The Cottage School prepares individuals for fulfillment of their true potential as confident, produc38 | Education Answer Book 2017

tive and independent adults.” “We are going to give students that self-assurance they need through hands-on experiential learning,” Palmer said. “We help children who learn differently. I never use the word ‘disability,’ but instead ‘differences.’ So the secret is to teach them differently.” The Cottage School was founded in 1985 by Jacque and Joe Digieso who were concerned about the increasing number of capable students experiencing repeated frustrations in traditional school settings. So the couple developed a high school program that provided students with an opportunity to develop strong academic and personal life skills.


The school originally consisted of a one-room tutoring center. Now it sits on a 23-acre campus along the Chattahoochee River corridor. A middle school was added in 1994, and this year expanded to include a fourth and fifth grade program. The property includes three residential buildings for classrooms and administrative space, as well as substantial outdoor areas for athletic activities. Outside of the classroom, students are able to take a variety of electives, including horseback riding, ball room dancing and art. The school is accredited by AdvancEd for the Southern Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school focuses on several student concerns, including those struggling with anxiety, a broad array of learning differences and ADD/ADHD. Students are assessed before they start school so their learning is personalized to their needs. “A lot of times there are students who are incredibly smart, but they have difficulty coping and dealing with anxiety,” Palmer said. “Anxiety comes in various forms, from bullying, class sizes of 30 to 40 students, overstimulated movement or not being able to get organized.” The school also works with students to develop strong executive function skills. “Our program specifically helps those students to give them tools to help with memory recall to help them get organized so they stay structured,” Palmer said. The third area the school

focuses on is learning differences, including all the “dys-,” as Palmer said, such as dysgraphia, dyscalculia or dyslexia. “So if you have difficulty with writing, math and reading, those are areas we can help you with,” he said. “Our spectrum is broad. We also look at autism, auditory processing and visual discrimination. Those are things we take and work with on a day-to-day basis.” The school’s approach and methodology is what makes it different, Palmer said. There are five skills that students are supposed to focus on, including being on time, being appropriately dressed, having all necessary materials, interacting courteously and getting the job done. “We want to prepare them not only for reading, writing and math, but socially and emotionally to conquer and be independent in the real world,” Palmer said. “This workbased model gives them assurance and guidance along the way.”

An approach as unique as your student Recognized by the Masters in Special Education Resource Guide as a Top 50 Best Private School in the US,we focus on academic, social and emotional needs of the student in grades 4 through 12. Top 3 reasons families consider The Cottage School for their student(s): • Anxiety • Learning differences • ADD/ADHD (including executive functioning) Our unique academic platform features: • Teacher/student ratio of 1:10 • Work-based model • Performance incentives (including off-campus privileges) • Promotion of self-advocacy • Focus on fostering self confidence • A collaborative student/teacher environment

And while no teaching method is completely foolproof, Palmer said the foundation of the program has helped the school be successful.

Education Answer Book 2017 | 39


“All kids should be able to go off to college,” Palmer said. “But what about the kids who don’t want to go straight to college or are bright enough to have a passion right now? Wouldn’t it be great if a student could graduate not only with a diploma, but also a certification and career?” Because of the way schools and jobs traditionally work, some of the students come to The Cottage School defeated, he said. “They aren’t feeling successful,” Palmer said. “They didn’t fail. The system failed them.” One student, Carter, an 11th grader at the school, thrived so much at the school, he even inspired his mom, who is now the Director of Admissions, Brenda Fetherston Hall.She said she saw such a difference in him that her own passion was ignited. “It’s an emotional journey,” she said. “It’s just a bend in your road. You’re ultimately attempting to find the right fit for your child.” If students are in the right educational environment, it’s amazing to see how successful they quickly become, she said. The unique combination of her admissions position and her knowledge as a parent has proven to be a great assistance in easing parents’ minds. “We don’t have to sell the 40 | Education Answer Book 2017

The Cottage School • 12-month rolling admissions • Year-round sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball, cross country and tennis • Stunning 23-acre wooded campus providing an experiential educational environment • Outdoor electives that include archery, mountain biking, canoeing and equestrian • Other electives also include culinary arts, fine arts, music and rock climbing High School Overview: • College preparedness • Career planning • Post-secondary plan required for graduation • Dedicated team of guidance counselors and advisors

school, the school sells itself,” Hall said. “It’s a big benefit for the parents to know someone who’s gone through it. I can talk from both ends, as an employee, but also a parent who can truly say ‘this is what we do here.’” Admission into the school is rolling, so a student who needs to start school won’t have to wait until the next semester. At the beginning of January 11 new students were enrolled.

“Those are students who started in another environment and thought, ‘we’ll make a go of it.’ But it ends up not working and realize there’s a need to make a more immediate change. Let’s address the academic, social and emotional issues your student is having now and get them enrolled.” If she could boil the school down to one word, Hall said she would choose “hope.” “We have students who have a lack of self-confidence, don’t know how to advocate for themselves or have suffered from anxiety from being in a classroom that’s too large or with a teacher who doesn’t understand they learn differently,” Hall said. “The Cottage School is a blank canvas for these kids. It gives them the hope for school to be anything they want it to be, and more. It’s life changing for the students, parents and staff. It’s a magical place.”


Education Answer Book 2017 | 41


Alpharetta STEM campus Career pathways school set to open at old Milton High School in 2020 By CANDY WAYLOCK Fulton School officials outlined the aggressive schedule to open the STEM campus in downtown Alpharetta by 2020, recognizing the school is needed both for academic choice as well as enrollment relief in North Fulton. During a presentation to the Fulton County School Board on Jan. 10, officials said the goal is to make sure everything is done correctly from the beginning to ensure the end product is viable. “This is a new type of school with a different type of requirement, and spending time on the front end

ensures we are getting results that meet the board and community expectations,” said Patrick Burke, deputy superintendent of Operations for Fulton Schools. The school will be built on the site of the former Milton High School. The building currently houses Independence High School which will be relocated to make way for the STEM campus. The Alpharetta site is one of two STEM campuses approved by voters last year as part of the continuation of the one-cent Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST).

Fulton officials said much of the conceptual work has already been done for the STEM schools, including assessing the needs and involving the community in the conversation. “We’ve been [busy] looking at workforce needs in our community, identifying areas where we can make a difference and having an ongoing conversation with our community,” said Rob Anderson, deputy superintendent of Academics for Fulton Schools. “We are not starting at square one.” The next few months will be spent developing educational standards for the STEM campuses, building additional partnerships in the community, and engaging and recruiting students, teachers and leaders. Burke said those conversations

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begins to take shape will include a wide range of topics, including what types of students will be drawn to the STEM concept, how many classrooms are needed to support the curriculum and talks with the “destination” schools the students may move onto after graduation. Anderson said the project starts with filling a need. “We want to provide our students with a rigorous and relevant school choice option with a STEM focus,” said Anderson. Once education standards are drafted, the community will have the opportunity to review and comment on those standards. Burke noted the goal is to have a final set of standards by April so planners can begin narrowing down

and focusing the “industry pathways” offered at the school. School board members from North Fulton say the school cannot open soon enough, with nearly every area high school at or above capacity. The Alpharetta STEM school is the only option for relief in the area through 2020. “I would be very interested in the final recommendation for capacity,” said Fulton School Board member Katie Reeves, whose district includes Milton and Alpharetta. “I think all of our parents with kids in overcrowded schools are looking at this as the only solution in the next five years.” Board President Linda McCain, who represents primarily Johns Creek, said the concept must be

attractive to students. “This is a [school] the kids must want to go to, because they are going to have to choose this,” said McCain, who noted marketing efforts must include the middle school level. The stakes are high for Fulton Schools to deliver a viable product. In 2007 the system opened The Connected Academy at the former Milton High School site as the first charter school in the state opened by a school system. The school was marketed at the “disengaged learner” who was looking for options beyond the traditional high school. The school closed quietly 18 months later, having never attracted more than 100 students and failing to create an identity.

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Education Answer Book 2017 | 43


Forsyth schools top state report card charts District posts among top scores for all levels By KATHLEEN STURGEON orsyth County Schools has aced the ultimate report card for Georgia schools, the College and Career Ready Performance Index. The CCRPI is the school systems’ report card from the state that ranks schools and school districts on a 100 point scale. It uses a variety of data sources, such as student achievement, school climate and financial efficiency. Overall, Forsyth scored a 92.5, up from its 2015 score of 91.8. The 2016 score for the state averaged 73.6. Forsyth Superintendent Jeff Bearden said he’s proud of the improvement. “No matter which metric, like SAT or ACT scores or graduation rate, we are always at or near the top, not only in our state but in our nation,” Bearden said. “When you have a high achieving system like ours, it’s really challenging on our leaders, teachers and students to make improvements. We strive to get better every year. This latest

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score is a testimony to that.” For 2016, the district racked up the accolades, including high district score among large school systems in the state; highest district, elementary and middle school scores in metro Atlanta; seventh highest high school score in the state; second highest middle school score in the state; second highest elementary school score in the state. Additionally, individual schools did well. Lambert High School ranked ninth and South Forsyth High School 20th in the state. South Forsyth Middle School came in third for middle schools, with Riverwatch Middle School

in fifth and Vickery Creek Middle School 13th. Johns Creek Elementary School took the fourth spot for elementary schools, Sharon Elementary School took fifth, Daves Creek Elementary School took seventh, Big Creek Elementary School was eighth, Brookwood Elementary School was 11th and Settles Bridge Elementary School took 16th. Other regional districts scores are: Cherokee 81.6; Cobb 80.5; Dalton 66.2; Dawson 81.2; Fulton 74.7; Gainesville City 68.1; Gwinnett 83; and Hall 73.1. For a full listing of schools and their scores, visit ccrpi.gadoe. org/2016.

2015 Forsyth scores

2016 Forsyth scores

2016 State scores

2016 Comparison to state

District

91.8

92.5

73.6

18.9

Elementary school

92.3

90.7

71.7

19.0

Middle school

91.1

92.2

71.5

20.7

High school

87.6

92.0

75.7

16.3

44 | Education Answer Book 2017


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Forsyth has highest grad rate among metro Atlanta county districts By KATHLEEN STURGEON orsyth County Schools has continued its legacy of high graduation rates. For 2016, rates released by the Georgia Department of Education showed Forsyth County Schools with the highest graduation rate in among metro Atlanta county districts and among those in the state for districts graduating more than 1,000 students. Forsyth’s 2016 class included 2,861 students with 2,652 graduating. That’s a 92.7 percent graduation rate, but it is down from 2015 when 94 percent graduated. Forsyth’s 2016 rate exceeds other metro county districts, including Fulton (86 percent), Cobb (83.8 percent), Gwinnett (79.6 percent) and Cherokee (79.2 percent). Additionally, all high schools in Forsyth County were above the state graduate rate of 79.2 percent. Lambert High School has the highest graduation rate in the district and the eighth highest graduation rate in Georgia. Lambert’s 2016 class size was 694 with 685 students graduating, or a rate of

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98.7 percent. That’s up from the school’s 2015 rate of 98.2 percent. South Forsyth High School’s graduate rate was also in the top 40 out of over 400 high schools in the state. The school 571 of 600 students graduate, a rate of 95.2 percent. That’s down slightly from its 2015 rate of 96.3 percent. All of the schools have been on the upward trend the past few years. “I am extremely proud that all our high schools have increased their graduation rates over the past five years,” FCS Superintendent Jeff Bearden stated. “Forsyth Central HS has led traditional schools with a 10.9 percent increase, while Forsyth Virtual Academy has almost doubled their number of graduates with a 46.8 percent increase since 2011.” Other Forsyth schools showed strong numbers. West Forsyth graduated 499 out of 538 students for a rate of 92.8 percent. West’s rate also dropped from last year’s rate of 95.4 percentage rate. Forsyth Central graduated 395 of 431 stu-

dents for a rate of 91.6 percent, an increase from last year’s 89 percent rate. North Forsyth had a rate of 86.9 percent with 477 students graduating out of 549. That was a decrease from last year’s rate of 91.1 percent. Forsyth Virtual Academy graduated 25 of its 27 students for a rate of 92.6 percent. That is a decrease from 2015’s rate of 93.5 percent. Overall, Georgia’s 2016 high school graduation rate rose for the fifth straight year, from 78.8 percent in 2015 to 79.2 percent. “The 2016 graduation rate shows our schools continue to make progress by offering students an education that is relevant, keeping more students in school and on a path to a better quality of life,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “As part of VISION 2020, we have a goal of exceeding the national average graduation rate by the year 2020, ensuring that more students will receive a meaningful high school diploma that prepares them for a successful and productive future.”

2016 Class size

Total graduated

2016 Graduation rate

Forsyth Central HS

431

395

91.6

89

Forsyth Virtual Academy

27

25

92.6

93.5

2015 Graduation rate

Lambert HS

694

685

98.7

98.2

North Forsyth HS

549

477

86.9

91.1

South Forsyth HS

600

571

95.2

96.3

West Forsyth HS

538

499

92.8

95.4

46 | Education Answer Book 2017


Forsyth schools earn highest SAT scores in area All traditional schools higher than state, national averages By KATHLEEN STURGEON or another year, Forsyth County Schools continues to have the highest total SAT score in metro Atlanta as well as the top score in Georgia for districts that tested more than 450 students. This year’s scores were an 8-point improvement over its 2015 results and 19 points higher than its 2014 results. All of Forsyth County’s five traditional high schools with their 2,022 test takers posted a higher average score, 1584, than the Georgia statewide and national average. There were 65,473 test takers in Georgia with a combined average score of 1459. In the nation, 1.6 million test takers averaged a combined score of 1484. “We are again pleased to see increases in our SAT results,” said Forsyth Superintendent Jeff Bearden. “Ensuring that our students are college and career ready continues to be a goal of our teachers and school staff. They do a fantastic job preparing our students, and our students are hard-working and dedicated to academic excellence.” South Forsyth High School posted the largest increase in scores from 2015 and had the highest combined score in the county this year. It posted a score of 1645

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with 489 students tested. Lambert High School was a close second with 582 test takers and a combined score of 1627. West Forsyth High School came in third with 379 test takers and a combined score of 1543. North Forsyth High School followed with 300 test takers and a score of 1525. Forsyth Central had 266 test takers and a score of 1511. Other local districts included Fulton with 4,999 test takers and a combined score of 1502; Hall

with 903 test takers and a score of 1414; Cherokee with 1,412 test takers and a score of 1577; Dawson with 138 test takers and a score of 1457; and Gwinnett with 7,984 test takers and a score of 1503. SAT results come just weeks after Forsyth County Schools earned the highest district ACT score in Georgia with a composite score of 24.1. Forsyth ranked higher than both the national 2016 composite score of 20.8 and the Georgia composite score of 21.1.

SAT scores for Forsyth high schools School

No. of test takers

Combined scores

Forsyth Central 266 1511 North Forsyth 300 1525 West Forsyth 379 1543 South Forsyth 489 1645 Lambert 582 1627 All Forsyth County 2,022 1584 Fulton 4,999 1502 Hall 903 1414 Cherokee 1,412 1577 Dawson 138 1457 Gwinnett 7,984 1503 Georgia 65,473 1459 Nation 1,637,589 1484

Education Answer Book 2017 | 47


Top scores for 2016 graduates on ACT, SAT By CANDY WAYLOCK igh schools in North Fulton dominated the list of top-performing public schools in Georgia on both the ACT and SAT, based on test scores from the Class of 2016. The two tests are the primary assessments used by colleges in the United States for acceptance and placement. On the ACT, Northview students posted the state’s second highest ACT average, followed by Johns Creek (3rd), Chattahoochee (5th), Alpharetta (6th) and Cambridge (7th). Looking beyond the top 10, Milton was ranked 13th, followed by Roswell at 14th. In all, 442 public high schools in Georgia reported results. The ACT measures English, math, reading and science proficiency, with an optional writing section. A perfect score is 36. Last year the ACT passed the SAT in the number of students taking the test nationwide. Although the number of Fulton students taking the ACT in 2016 dropped slightly from the previous year, nearly 60 percent of its 2016 graduates participated. Achievement by students on the 2016 SAT was equally impressive, with seven North Fulton school’s scoring among the top 15 of all high schools in the state. Five area high schools posted double-digit increases from last year, led by annual top-performer Northview High School (+26). It was one of only two schools in the state with a school average over 1800, and the sole standout among schools which tested more than 200 students. Other area high schools posting double-digit increases include Alpharetta, Cambridge, Chattahoochee and Johns Creek. The 35-point increase in Cambridge’s score reflects a steady increase in the scores at the area’s newest high school. In the past three years, Cambridge has seen its average score rise by more than 100 points. Nearly 80 percent of 2016 graduates took the SAT, which has two sections – critical reading/writing and mathematics.

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SAT scores for North Fulton high schools School

2016 avg. score

Alpharetta 1714 Cambridge 1678 Centennial 1482 Chattahoochee 1709 Johns Creek 1730 Milton 1651 Northview 1810 Roswell 1654 North Fulton avg. 1679 Fulton Total (5,000) 1502 Georgia 1459 National 1484

ACT scores for North Fulton high schools School

2016 avg. score

Alpharetta 25.9 Cambridge 25.6 Centennial 23.8 Chattahoochee 26.1 Johns Creek 26.8 Milton 24.8 Northview 27.2 Roswell 24.7 North Fulton avg. 25.6 System 23.2 Georgia 21.1 National 20.8

Area High School Graduation Rates School

2016 avg. rate

Alpharetta 94.4 Cambridge 96.6 Centennial 89.3 Chattahoochee 93.8 Independence 58.8 Johns Creek 96.3 Milton 97.4 Northview 95.4 Roswell 89.3 North Fulton avg. 90.1 System Average 86.6 State Average 79.2


Forsyth earns highest district ACT score Second consecutive year to earn distinction

By the numbers • 2016 composite score for the ACT • National: 20.8

By KATHLEEN STURGEON or the second consecutive year, Forsyth County Schools has earned the highest district ACT score in Georgia with a composite score of 24.1. Forsyth ranked higher than both the national 2016 composite score of 20.8 and the Georgia composite score of 21.1. The district tops others including Oconee County (23.8), Fayette County (23.6) Fulton County (23.2) and Cherokee County (23.1). “I’m extremely proud of our students and staff for continuing to lead the state in ACT scores,” said Forsyth Superintendent Jeff Bearden. Individually, the schools’ 2016 composite scores were 25 for South Forsyth High School, 24.9 at Lambert, 23.5 at Forsyth Central, 23.2 at West Forsyth and 22.9 at North Forsyth. South Forsyth and Lambert were in the top 15 highest scores out of all high schools in the state with South Forsyth at 13 and Lambert at 15. “Our innovative instructional strategies and the personalized learning delivered by our energetic and dedicated staff create a challenging and dynamic learning environment,” said Laura Wilson, principal at South Forsyth. “Our ACT scores reflect our culture of high expectations and achievement balanced with pos-

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• State of Georgia: 21.1 • Forsyth County School District: 24.1 • Forsyth Central HS: 23.5 • Lambert HS: 24.9 • North Forsyth HS: 22.9 • South Forsyth HS: 25 • West Forsyth HS: 23.2 itive school climate.” Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology had the highest composite score of 28.7. It was followed by Northview High School in Fulton with 27.2, Johns Creek High School in Fulton with 26.8, George Walton Comprehensive High School in Cobb with 26.6 and Chattahoochee High School in Fulton with 26.1. The 2016 composite score for the district didn’t change from 2015. However all of the schools saw changes, including Forsyth Central raising its score by .5, Lambert falling by .1, North Forsyth rising by .2, South Forsyth rising by .1 and West Forsyth falling by .4. There were 207 students tested at Forsyth Central, 558 at Lambert, 249 at North Forsyth, 427 at South Forsyth and 368 at West Forsyth. Education Answer Book 2017 | 49


College-101 All you need to know about higher education GETTING ACCEPTED:

The process of applying to colleges and universities By JOE PARKER

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electing and applying to colleges and universities can be stressful and confusing for high school students, leading to many questions. How do I apply? What types of students are the colleges seeking? To how many schools should I apply? And most importantly, will I be accepted? It can be quite overwhelming for students as well as the student’s parents who want to ensure their son or daughter is making the right collegiate choice. For most students, counselors at their high school will play a pivotal role in assisting them in the application and college planning process. Karen Bolt, Alpharetta High School head counselor, says the collegiate planning process begins as soon as the student’s freshman year. “It’s a lengthy process, but we try to start early,” she said. “The process should begin in the ninth grade. That way, a 50 | Education Answer Book 2017

student can check to see what colleges require and take the right courses [in high school].” Amy Short, head counselor at Roswell High, advises students to let their transcript reflect their interests. “If your passion is literature, you want to have that be apparent on your transcript,” she said. “You should take those creative writing classes and advanced literature courses. Your transcript is going to be viewed by people who don’t know you, and you want them to get a sense of who you are and what your passion is.” The same idea applies to extracurricular activities, she said. “Don’t jump around,” Short said. “It’s better to stick with one club for a long time and earn a position of leadership than to jump around to many different clubs just to have that on your transcript.” Bolt and Short both advise taking the SAT and the ACT. Whichever test yields better scores should be the score the student

should focus on improving. But the question remains; do colleges only look at a student’s GPA and SAT or ACT scores? “It’s still true that colleges are looking for great grades, good test scores and extracurricular activities, but most use a holistic approach,” Bolt said, which will account for much more than grade and test numbers. Bolt says this often happens when colleges have a minimal number of openings for a large amount of applicants. When this happens, “they go deeper” into the student’s application. “Sometimes a school may need a tuba player and that could make the difference in being accepted,” she said. Although the number of schools to which a student should apply varies from student to student, Bolt and Short suggest applying to at least six colleges. Two of the schools applied to should be “target” schools, schools the student should make their pri-


ority to attend. The student should also apply to two “reach” schools, or, as Short puts it, schools that the student may not be accepted to but would love to attend, as well as two “backup” schools. “Having backups are essential given the fact that not every student will be accepted into their college of choice,” said Bolt. Websites such as GAcollege411.org can also provide supplementary information and planning strategies for students in high school who are looking to attend college.

The site also offers information regarding specific schools that can help a student find the colleges that suit them best. Students can even apply to Georgia’s colleges through the site. However, Short says she uses an analogy when students research schools online to show them there is more to the process that cannot be done online. “You wouldn’t buy a car based only on online reviews. You’d want to touch it and drive it and get a better sense of it,” she said. “The same applies to colleges. You want

to find the right fit for you.” Dr. Jamie Brown, head counselor at South Forsyth High School said, “Don’t be afraid to reach out to the schools and ask them what they are looking for, and also share your transcript with them so that you are more informed if the fit will be good for you.” Although the process can be lengthy and confusing, starting early, in-depth research and sound planning can lessen the burden of the process of applying to colleges. And, as Bolt says, counselors are always “here to help.” Education Answer Book 2017 | 51


There is still ‘HOPE’ to help pay for college By JOE PARKER he HOPE Scholarship – Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally – is a scholarship and grant program that provides financial assistance for students pursuing degrees, diplomas and certificates at Georgia’s colleges and universities. Initiated in 1993, the program has awarded over $7 billion to 1.75 million students in the state. The 2016-17 school year was the first in five years that most Georgia colleges and universities did not see an increase in tuition. However, after a half decade of steady increases, spikes in tuition have made the HOPE Scholarship even more appealing, if not absolutely necessary, for many current and upcoming college students The rigor requirements for the HOPE Scholarship have increased the amount of advanced courses a high school student must complete to be eligible for the scholarship. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, students will be required to earn at least four credits from the following courses: • Advanced math, such as advanced algebra, trigonometry, math III or equivalent or higher course taken for degree-level credit at an eligible postsecondary institution. • Advanced science, such as chemistry, physics, biology II or equivalent or higher course taken for degree-level credit at an eligible postsecondary

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institution. • Advanced Placement courses in core subjects. • International Baccalaureate courses in core subjects. • Courses taken at a unit of the University System of Georgia in core subjects (non-remedial). • Advanced foreign language courses. In order to assist students taking highly challenging classes, beginning in the 2017-18 school year, students may receive a 0.5 increase on grades. Those taking science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes which are deemed “academically rigorous and required for or leading to employment in high demand fields in Georgia in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” may receive a 0.5 increase on any final grades below an ‘A.’ The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in consultation with the Technical College System of Georgia, the Department of Economic Development and private eligible postsecondary institutions will mandate which classes students may receive the half-point increase. These additional requirements are a result of funding issues for the scholarship program. Since 2009, the number of HOPE recipients has decreased by 36 percent from nearly 250,000 in 2009-2010 to

158,000 in 2013-2014. Though the requirements to receive the HOPE Scholarship have become increasingly more challenging for students, those who are able to meet the eligibility requirements and maintain a 3.0 GPA, the HOPE Scholarship program will greatly ease the burden of tuition increases at Georgia’s colleges and universities.

To receive HOPE Scholarship funding, students must: Meet one of the following academic requirements: • Graduate from an eligible high school or accredited high school program with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and meet the academic rigor requirement. • Receive a high school diploma through petition of the local school board, in accordance with O.C.G.A. §20-2-281, from an eligible high school with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. • Graduate from an ineligible high school, complete a home study program in Georgia, or earn a GED and score in the national composite 75th percentile or higher on the SAT or ACT prior to completion of 30 semester or 45 quarter hours of college degree-level coursework • Graduate from an ineligible high


AND Program Eligibility • Meet HOPE’s U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen requirements; • Be a legal resident of Georgia; • Meet enrollment requirements; • Be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements; • Meet academic achievement standards; • Be in good standing on all student loans or other financial aid programs; • Be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990; • Not have exceeded the maximum award limits for any HOPE program. Application Procedure Students have two options when applying for the HOPE Scholarship: 1. Complete the Free Applica-

tion for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or, 2. Complete the online GSFAPPS application or printable paper GSFAPPS application. Note: The FAFSA must be completed each year. Application Deadline The application deadline is the last day of the school term or a student’s withdrawal date, whichever occurs first. It is recommended that you submit HOPE Scholarship application as early as possible; the earlier you apply, the earlier the funds are disbursed to your school and credited to your account. Note: Additional college-specific application and deadline requirements may be required. Check with your postsecondary institution. Where to Go for Help Contact the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend, talk with your high school counselor or contact the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Visit www.gafutures.org to access and explore information and websites regarding Georgia colleges and universities. Georgia Student Finance Commission by: GSFC E-mail; gacollege411@gsfc.org Additional Information Full details about the HOPE Scholarship guidelines, policies, and procedures can be found in the HOPE Scholarship Program at Public Institutions Regulations or HOPE Scholarship Program at Private Institutions Regulations document maintained by the GSFC.

Other state aid programs

COLLEGE 101

school or complete a home study program in Georgia and then earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative postsecondary grade point average after attempting 30 semester or 45 quarter hours of college degree-level coursework for retroactive HOPE Scholarship payment. • Earn a 3.0 grade point average at the college level on degree coursework after attempting 30, 60, or 90 semester hours or 45, 90, or 135 quarter hours, regardless of high school graduation status. • Be enrolled as a degreeseeking student at a public or private HOPE eligible college and university in Georgia.

Zell Miller scholarship Merit-based scholarship that provides full tuition at a public postsecondary institution and tuition assistance at an eligible private postsecondary institution. A student must graduate from an eligible high school as valedictorian or salutatorian (meeting the requirements of the HOPE Scholarship) or graduate with a minimum 3.7 GPA (as calculated by GSFC) along with a minimum combined score of 1200 on the math and reading portions of the SAT or a minimum composite score of 26 on the ACT and meet specific rigor course requirements. REACH Georgia Needs-based mentoring and scholarship program providing promising students the support to graduate from high school and achieve postsecondary success. REACH scholars will be paired with a mentor who models positive behavior and provides the student with knowledge, advice, guidance, and support related to education and beyond. HERO Scholarship Provides educational scholarship assistance to members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reservists who served in combat zones, and the children and the spouses of such members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reserves. Public Safety Memorial Grant Provides grant funds to the dependent children of Georgia Public Safety Officers who were permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty. Funds may be used towards the cost of attendance at eligible colleges, universities or technical colleges in Georgia. The Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant Program Encourages Georgia residents to attend eligible private colleges in Georgia by providing assistance towards educational costs. Move On When Ready For students at eligible high schools that wish to take college level coursework for credit towards both high school and college graduation requirements.

Education Answer Book 2017 | 53


College Fair

I

nterested in attending a school that isn't too far from home? We've narrowed down the schools within 30 or so miles of Atlanta and give you the details on each institution.

1. Kennesaw State University Located 25 miles from Atlanta, Kennesaw State University has 13 colleges with two campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta. It is the third largest university in the state and offers more than 150 different undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. Online classes? Yes Study abroad? Yes Fall 2016 enrollment: 32,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students Semesters or quarters? Semesters Student organizations: Over 200, including student governance and media, co-curricular clubs, athletics, Greek letter organizations, campus ambassadors, community service and advocacy Website: www.kennesaw.edu 2. Georgia State University Georgia State University, an urban public research university located in the heart of Atlanta, offers over 250 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in more than 100 fields of study. It is considered one of the diverse universities in the nation. Online classes? Yes Study abroad? Yes Fall 2015 enrollment: 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students Semesters or quarters? Semesters 54 | Education Answer Book 2017

Student organizations: Over 450, including academic, business, community service and advocacy, Greek letter organizations, creative and performing arts and student governance and media Website: www.gsu.edu 3. University of Georgia – Gwinnett Campus Located only 30 miles from Atlanta, the University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus serves the needs of busy working professionals. It offers graduate-level programs with accommodating schedules, including night and Saturday classes, to help students maintain a balance with their careers and families. Non-credit professional development courses are also available. Online classes? Yes Study abroad? Yes Semesters or quarters? Semesters Student organizations: Weekly opportunities for networking, exploring art and culture, and massages Website: www.gwinnett.uga.edu 4. University of North Georgia Formed through the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College in 2013, the University of North Georgia has five campuses in Blue Ridge, Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee. It offers over 100 degrees

for students, ranging from certificate and associate degrees to professional doctoral programs. Online classes? Yes Study abroad? Yes Fall 2016 enrollment: 18,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate students Semesters or quarters? Semesters Student organizations: Each campus offers different programs, including social, athletics, honors, service and advocacy, academic groups and Greek letter organizations Website: www.ung.edu 5. Life University Life University is in Marietta, just 20 miles away from Atlanta, and is considered one of the most affordable private universities in the nation. It has 17 accredited degree programs for undergraduate and graduate studies that focus on health and wellness. Online classes? Yes Study abroad? Yes Fall 2016 enrollment: 2,700 students Semesters or quarters? Quarters Student organizations: Over 70 student clubs, including academic and student governance Website: www.life.edu 6. Lanier Technical College Lanier Technical College


COLLEGE 101

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has five campuses located in Oakwood, Forsyth, Barrow, Dawson and Jackson. It provides career-technical education programs with customized business and industry training to earn a diploma, certificate or associate’s degree. Online classes? Yes Study abroad? Yes Fall 2016 enrollment: 26,000 students Semesters or quarters? Se-

mesters Student organizations: Dozens, including academic, business, student governance and honors societies Website: www.laniertech.edu 7. Gwinnett Technical College Gwinnett Technical College offers over 150 programs with degree, diplomas and certificate options, all only 30 miles from Atlanta. The programs focus on the

fastest growing fields as well as emerging industries and technologies. Online classes? Yes Study abroad? Yes Fall 2016 enrollment: 10,000 students Semesters or quarters? Semesters Student organizations: Over 30, including academic, business and honors societies Website: www.gwinnetttech.edu Education Answer Book 2017 | 55


Gwinnett Tech looks to keep pace with growing North Fulton workforce Campus hopes to expand in size, enrollment By PATRICK FOX winnett Tech’s Alpharetta campus celebrated its first birthday Jan. 6, and my, how the kid has grown. Enrollment at the campus on Old Milton Parkway currently stands at 855 students – a 78 percent increase from last year, and college officials are expecting that number to climb to about 1,000 this spring. “We’re still enrolling,” said Mary Beth Byerly, vice president of Institutional Advancement for Gwinnett Technical College. “Our mission is workforce development, and we want to always make sure students have access to high-quality, affordable education.” To that end, Gwinnett Tech has developed a “mini-mester” with classes beginning in March. The minimester was set up to offer students a chance to take classes outside the traditional enrollment periods. “We will probably pick up a couple hundred more students during the mini-mester,” Byerly said. Gwinnett Tech’s Alpharetta campus features a three-story building containing 35 classrooms, learning labs and student services. The classrooms include Technology Enhanced Active Learning rooms, seven computer labs, three science labs, a library, bookstore, two

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Alpharetta’s Gwinnett Technical College campus is 1 year old and seems to have found a niche in North Fulton County.

75-seat lecture halls, a Learning Success Center, study areas on all three floors, and offices for student advisement, financial aid and admissions. This is the first of three buildings planned for the campus. When all buildings are completed, it is anticipated the campus could serve up to 10,000 students and be open six days a week. Not only is the Gwinnett Tech campus growing, it’s also learned to walk. College officials have integrated into the North Fulton business community to offer the school’s services in training a workforce to supply growing needs. “We are always going out to businesses, talking to them, listening to them as far as what they

need from a workforce standpoint,” Byerly said. “Then, we come back and look at what we need to be offering so we’re aligning with that.” The school offers an array of disciplines focused on the burgeoning health care and tech businesses populating North Fulton County. Its fields of study include computer science, business, health and life sciences, education, criminal justice and general education. “Those program areas are growing,” Byerly said. “Those are the main programs we’re starting with and that the community told us, ‘Hey, we need a ready workforce, tomorrow.’” The list of disciplines is likely to grow as interest increases, Byerly said. “We are looking to start a clini-


COLLEGE 101

Gwinnett Tech students take time out between classes to bone up on studies at the Alpharetta campus.

cal research practitioner program,” she said. “That program is on [the Gwinnett] campus, and we’re looking to start that in the summer or fall of next year.” Gwinnett Tech is governed by a board of directors and a board of trustees. What’s more, the school has set up advisory boards for each program area composed of members of the general and business community to ensure the curriculum is up to date and the offerings are suited to the needs of the area, Byerly said. Sometimes, those offerings include non-credit training. When

Mercedes Benz moved to North Fulton, the school was called in to onboard all new employees. Further, this fall, Gwinnett Tech plans to offer the first Mercedes Benz technician program in the United States. “Those are really cool and unique ways that we continue to work with businesses,” Byerly said. The school is also focusing on continuing education, an area of growing need, Byerly said. The campus’s niche is higher education, which includes GED and English as a Second Language, and its continuing education program for business and industry.

“There are 15,000 folks who reside in North Fulton who do not have a high school diploma,” she said. So, we are partnering with Fulton County Schools and churches and are delivering GED and ESL instruction at places, such as North Springs High School this spring, the Milton Center in Alpharetta and at a church in Sandy Springs. We are trying to go where people need it.” As Alpharetta and North Fulton grow, Byerly said she expects the campus to follow suit. “Yes, we would love for it to grow,” she said. “The need is definitely there.” Education Answer Book 2017 | 57


COLLEGE 101

Dual enrollment puts high school kids in college classes Satisfies high school graduation requirements as well as college degree

By CANDY WAYLOCK ot all Georgia students need – or want – to remain in high school for the traditional four-year stint before moving on to college, and Georgia education officials have answered that need. Through the Accel Program, qualified high school students can dual enroll, which means taking some classes in high school and others in a college setting, or “Move On When Ready” by enrolling full-time in college while completing the requirements for a high school degree. The program is aimed primarily at 11th- and 12th-graders, though some qualified ninth- and 10thgraders may be eligible. Through dual enrollment, students receive both high school

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and college credit simultaneously, courses can be taken at high school or at college campus and courses are taught by college faculty or credentialed high school teachers. Currently, 23 colleges within the Technical College System of Georgia participate in dual enrollment, including Atlanta Tech and Lanier Tech. Within the University System of Georgia, there are 30 colleges that offer dual enrollment to high school students, including Georgia Tech and Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia State University, which will soon merge into one school. In 2015, more than 18,000 Georgia high school students are dual enrolled in high school and college – 11,400 in a technical col-

lege and 7,000 in a college within the University System of Georgia. This total has nearly doubled since 2012 when only 9,300 high school students were dual enrolled. Fulton County students are well represented in those numbers, with 1,032 dual enrolled students from among its 17 high schools. The majority are students from North Fulton schools, including 225 from Alpharetta High, 192 from Milton and 115 from Chattahoochee High. Georgia education officials point to the advantages of dual enrollment, including an easier transition from high school to college, confidence to take on the college level rigor and the decreased cost of college and the shorter time frame to secure a college degree. Tuition for dual enrollment is covered by the state and the local school system where the student is enrolled. For the Move On When Ready program, a student must meet admission standards for the college, and must enroll full-time – a minimum of 12 hours a semester. Tuition is covered for the first 12 hours, with the student responsible for any fees above that. Credits earned will go to both the high school and college degrees. Eligible students for dual enrollment and Move On When Ready must meet certain criteria, which are detailed on the Georgia Department of Education website (www.gadoe.org).


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Join Today.

Visit our website at alpharettachamber.com or call Kristen Franks at (404) 545-0212 Education Answer Book 2017 | 59


SCHOOL PROFILE

Mill Springs Academy

Success in school … success in life Mill Springs Academy is an SACS/SAIS accredited independent school community dedicated to the academic, physical, and social growth of those students who have not realized their full potential in the traditional setting. Since 1981 Mill Springs has been supporting student learning by raising expectations and developing self-motivation, while providing skills and values for life to students with ADHD and/or learning disabilities. Mill Springs offers a broad range of college preparatory options, along with fine arts and a competitive athletic program to foster interests or hidden talents. Small classes and an individualized curriculum help to capitalize on strengths while learning compensatory 60 | Education Answer Book 2017 | Sponsored Section

strategies. We offer an extended day program during the school year as well as summer school and camps in the summer months. Our 85-acre campus is nestled in the beautiful rolling hills and pasture land of Alpharetta. For more information, please visit our website at www.millsprings. org or call (770) 360-1336. Mill Springs participates in the GSNS/SB10 program. The school is a 501(c) (3) organization governed by a board of trustees. Mill Springs Academy, 13660 New Providence Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004. “If a student can’t learn the way we teach … we should teach the way a student can learn.” –Tweetie L. Moore, Founder


As technology increasingly becomes the foundation of our world, the need for quality STEM education is at a premium. Woodward Academy offers advanced STEM programs Pre-K through 12th grade, allowing students to start young, acquire advanced STEM skills, and ultimately find success beyond Woodward. At Woodward North in John’s Creek, pre-kindergartners through sixth graders love exploring in the Eaglesphere, which serves as the center for STEM programming. We utilize learning labs, computers, and designthinking curricula to challenge students. In weekly classes, students in Pre-K through third grade gain foundational skills in technology, robotics, coding, and general computer skills. Students in fourth through sixth grade take advanced classes in these subjects, with additional emphasis on engineering, research, and media production to encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and engaged collaboration. The STEM education continues in Middle School at our Main Campus in College Park, where the curriculum integrates technological skills and design-thinking principles across fields. For example, in art projects like 3D model design, students use technology to create schematics, research design materials, and finalize innovative prototypes executed on a 3D printer. Along the way, they learn about art production, sales, distribution, and working within a budget. Projects like these allow students to solve real-world problems while developing important skills like entrepreneurialism and collaboration. In the Upper School, Woodward students have ample opportunity to pursue cocurriculars in STEM in addition to rigorous academics. Robotics teams, Science Club, Environmental Awareness Club, Math Lab, and Drone Teams are just a few examples of cocurricular offerings that cultivate students’ diverse passions. Students also have the opportunity to conduct independent research with college professors, allowing them to apply their STEM knowledge in an advanced

SCHOOL PROFILE

Woodward Academy

setting. Students gain a leg up as they head into college as well as valuable experience that will inform their careers.   At Woodward, a STEM education is a central tenet of our mission to educate the whole child and prepare students for success in college and life. Sponsored Section | Education Answer Book 2017 | 61


SCHOOL PROFILE

King’s Ridge Students Reap Added Benefits Located on 70 acres in Alpharetta, you will find a unique offering for college-bound students. King’s Ridge Christian School is a multi-denominational school serving students PreK-12th grade.   Students are highly sought after by colleges based on excellent skill preparation with a recent class of 47 graduates earning $4.6 M in scholarships and a strong 93% of AP test results eligible for college credit. 100% of students receive college acceptances. King’s Ridge alumni report their preparation was well worth the investment as they often surpass their college peers in academic performance and complete college in less time than the new norm of 6 years. This happens by an environment in which each student is known.  This experience, called the Journey for Life Impact, is where students start to discover their God-given gifts and talents and work towards discov62 | Education Answer Book 2017 | Sponsored Section

ering their purpose.   Students travel both regionally and internationally for mission trips. Weekly chapel services with student involvement supplement Christian education classes.  The goal of the athletic program is to field competitive teams who can play against the best and give any opponent a competitive game.  Athletics begins at an early age and extends to GHSA competition. Fine Arts offerings extend from visual arts opportunities to drama, Thespians, Chorale, the One Act Play and musical productions in all grade levels.  Admission tours may be scheduled by contacting 770-754-5738.  King’s Ridge serves families in north Fulton, east Cobb, Cherokee and Forsyth counties and practices a non-discriminatory policy of admission. -Communications Department, King’s Ridge Christian School


SCHOOL PROFILE

Fellowship Christian School students participate in the 2016 Hurricane Matthew Relief Service Project.

Fellowship Christian School Fellowship Christian School is celebrating its 31st year as Atlanta’s premiere Pre-K through 12th Grade Covenant Christian school. Located in Roswell, Georgia, Fellowship serves students from four counties. Our faculty and staff focus on a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, with an integrated biblical worldview. We offer four diploma tracks to emphasize our students’ unique strengths and passion, including a Scholars diploma track, Artisan diploma track (Visual, Performing and Language Arts), and STEM diploma track (Engineering, Math, Digital Science, Life Science, Physical Science and Industrial Design). Our college acceptance to 4-year programs is 100%, with graduates attending over 200 different universities worldwide. Fellowship provides opportunities for creative exploration in art, music, technology, engineering, service

and language. We encourage athletic participation as a supplemental environment for mentoring, developing discipline and building friendships. In the past year alone, our Girls Varsity Soccer team won a State Title, and our Boys Varsity Soccer and Varsity Football teams have earned State Runner Up titles. Servant leadership is a core value of Fellowship Christian School. We provide ample opportunities for our students to serve their local and global community, with each graduating class devoting over 5000 hours to community service. We encourage you to visit our campus and tour our new 55,000 square foot high school building. This state-of-the-art facility includes a new STEM and fabrication lab, a spacious collaboration classroom, a counselors’ suite, a large multi-purpose performance studio, a student plaza and green space, digital media lab and a 2D/3D art gallery. Come Experience Fellowship! Sponsored Section | Education Answer Book 2017 | 63


SCHOOL PROFILE

William & Reed Academy … experience how education should be William & Reed Academy is a fully accredited private school, grades 6-12, located in Johns Creek, GA that provides parents and students another choice for a college preparatory education. William & Reed Academy has a unique and specialized approach to teaching students in a small class setting while preparing them for the college of their choice.  William & Reed Academy offers students a concentrated school week of Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with an optional Flex Period component that ends daily at 2:00 p.m.  This schedule maximizes academic instructional time by offering core academic classes in a shorter school day blended with online electives.  The concentrated school week offers face-to-face small classes in all core subjects (math, science, social studies, and language arts) and various online electives such as Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Foren64 | Education Answer Book 2017 | Sponsored Section

sic Science, Digital Photography, five different world languages, and 20 advanced placement courses. In addition, William & Reed Academy is a member of GISA and offers interscholastic sports teams (cross country, golf, tennis, and swimming). William & Reed Academy’s teachers are top-notch certified educators who have years of experience teaching in the area’s best high schools (Northview, Milton, Johns Creek, Centennial). The student-friendly schedule also allows William & Reed Academy students to spend more time with family and on other interests like sports and fine arts while still receiving an accredited, college preparatory education.  Class size at William & Reed Academy allows a maximum of 16 students, enabling teachers to cover more material in each lesson and to provide more specialized instruction between student and teacher. 


For over 109 years Riverside Military Academy has produced young men of purpose, integrity, and character. We offer a traditional, American-style education where personal values, honor, and love of country still matter. Riverside is not owned or operated by any particular religious denomination, but supports the spiritual and educational goals of all families. Upon graduation, a Riverside cadet has experienced the challenges of the military model of education and is completely prepared for the rigors of college. He is poised, polite, and confident in any social environment. Riverside cadets stand tall, offer a firm handshake, respect authority, and display a level of confidence that parents may not have observed previously. Cadets of Riverside Military Academy attend grades 7 through 12 and benefit from a small class size and a 15:1 student teacher ratio. Our entire educational program centers around the way young men learn

SCHOOL PROFILE

Riverside Military Academy

best. Riverside’s College Center assists cadets in preparing for and placing their college applications each year. The graduating class 2016 consisted of 130 cadets who were admitted to over 100 universities across the world and earned over $4 million in collegiate scholarships not including HOPE scholarship. Two graduating seniors were appointed to the U.S. Military Academy –West Point and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Riverside Military Academy holds dual accreditation in SACS and SAIS. Our comprehensive program of rigorous academics, athletics and leadership development sets the stage for a lifetime of success. Riverside Military Academy is located on 206 acres on the shores of Lake Lanier in Gainesville, GA. For more information please visit our web site at www. riversidemilitary.com or contact our admissions office at 770-538-2938.

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SCHOOL PROFILE

Peachtree Park Prep

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To celebrate 20 Years of Loving to Learn at Peachtree Park Prep there were several Alumni events including the 1st ANNUAL “I WAS A PREPPIE” national tee shirt Day. PPP Alumni preschoolers, PREPPIES, are attending high schools from Westminster, Pace Academy, Lovett, Woodward, Weslyan, Kings Ridge, Greater Atlanta Christian, Johns Creek, Northview, Alpharetta, and Norcross. PPP Alumni are currently attending or have earned degrees from Harvard, Clemson, Georgia Tech, UGA, North Carolina, Duke, Lehigh, Emory, LSU, SCAD, and many more, with one PPP graduate currently working on a PhD in Physics. Graduates from PPP are elite high school and college athletes, some of them already participating in the NFL and MLB, as well as a PPP graduate in training as a hopeful Olympic competitor. A recent PPP graduate has had photos published in a luxury Atlanta magazine, and the PPP community is following a former graduate “super model” on the international stage. The point being two-fold. The importance of early education and a solid foundation founded and fostered in “Loving to Learn” cannot be over-stated or under appreciated. Second, the importance of retaining a fabulous faculty with years of dedication and enthusiastic service to students’ early education shows in the students achieving the Love of Learning that will last them a life-time. These two concepts cannot be separated. Peachtree Park Prep has received many accolades through the years, but no award is more important and meaningful than hearing about the accomplishments of the students, past and present, and their parents attributing an important part of their success to the early foundation of Loving to Learn that they received at Peachtree Park Prep.


SCHOOL PROFILE

Fulton Science Academy Private School Fulton Science Academy Private School (FSAPS) serves advanced and gifted students using a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) curriculum. Now enjoying its fifth year as a private school and its second year at a beautiful new campus in Alpharetta, FSAPS proudly represented the state of Georgia in five national and international academic competitions in 2016. This year, the school received a prestigious “Excellence in STEM Education” award from the Technology Association of Georgia and was recognized as both the Best Private School (K-12) and Best Private Primary School (Pre-K) by Appen Media. The study body is diverse and reflects awardwinning academic teams, competitive athletes, personal entrepreneurs, professional working actors, and award-winning critical thinkers. There is no “one size fits all” mentality at FSAPS. The school

has a diverse student body where every individual’s uniqueness is treasured. Every child is different. Every teacher is different. Every subject is different. Uniqueness is embraced and small class sizes (limited to no more than 20 students) ensure a level of individualized attention and care that students and faculty have come to know and love. In addition to core classes, FSAPS also provides students beginning in Pre-K with courses in physical education, music, robotics, computer science, art, and foreign language. Community outreach is very important to Fulton Science Academy. Each year, the school partners with several local charities so students have a chance to give back. Built upon core values of excellence, innovation, and character, FSAPS has engineered a school of the future, today. For additional information, please visit http://www. fultonscienceacademy.org Sponsored Section | Education Answer Book 2017 | 67


Alumni Spotlight: Evan Dunbar ‘03 TCS alumni grows love of dogs into world-class training business “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.- Aristotle. Evan Dunbar’s 2003 yearbook quote from Aristotle shows he has come full circle since his high school days. Dunbar is owner and CEO of Full Contact K9, one of the leading names in high-end protection dog services. Full Contact K9 works with families and individuals in both Atlanta and Silicon Valley to source and train hand-selected animals for their specific situation. Evan attributes his business success to the habits that were instilled in him at The Cottage School— personal responsibility, a sense of confidence in himself and the belief that he could do anything he set his mind to. Evan was recently featured in Modern Luxury Men’s Book Atlanta as one of eight modern men “making their mark” on Atlanta.

The importance of using a Harry Norman, Realtor Harry Norman, Jr.’s philosophy, “the quality of any product or service is only as good as the customer says it is” has guided both the vision and mission of Harry Norman, REALTORS® since 1930. Our guiding principles of Service, Integrity, Community, Excellence and Financial Stewardship always provide superior counsel to our buyers and sellers. Our vision is providing an exceptional real estate experience to every Harry Norman, REALTORS® client and a commitment to passionately exceed your expectations. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® are 68 | Education Answer Book 2017 | Sponsored Section

properly called REALTORS®. Harry Norman, REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge as it relates to the process of buying and selling real estate. They are committed to serving all parties of a transaction honestly and all REALTOR® business practices are monitored at local Board levels. When buying or selling a home, your trusted Harry Norman, REALTORS® sales associate will give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace. This is a key factor in buying or selling your home at the best price. Our clients will always receive expert counsel and detailed

communication throughout the buying or selling process providing everyone with an exceptional real estate experience. We welcome you to visit our website at HarryNorman.com or contact one of our managers listed below for any real estate needs. Kathy Vaughn, Senior Vice President and Managing Broker, Harry Norman, REALTORS® North Fulton office at 678.461.8700 ; Karen Pate, Senior Vice President and Managing Broker, Harry Norman, REALTORS® ForsythLake Lanier office at 770.497.2000 ; Joy Jones, Senior Vice President and Managing Broker, Harry Norman, REALTORS® Atlanta North office at 678.957.3850.


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Locally Delivered. Nationally Recognized. 319 N. Main St. • Alpharetta, GA 30009 • 770-442-3278 • AppenMediaGroup.com Education Answer Book 2017 | 69


Choosing your orthodontist Brought to you by Dr. Jeffrey Jordan Jordan Orthodontics The person you entrust to provide your orthodontic care will deliver the smile that will be with you for important events like a first date, high school graduation, your wedding day, and from the beginning of your career until the end. This is an important decision! If you know what to look for in an Orthodontist, it can help make a difficult search easier. An Orthodontist is a specialist, trained in aligning the teeth and jaws, usually a top graduate from dental school, completing an additional two to three years of rigorous training. This instruction makes him or her uniquely qualified to deliver a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime. Only an Orthodontist can be a member of the American Association of Orthodontist or be a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics. So, look for the logo, making sure you’re getting an Orthodontist! An Orthodontist with a full time practice is more likely to be available for the reality of poking wires, broken brackets, or any other emergency situations that need to be addressed. Over the course of your treatment, your Orthodontist will evaluate your bite at each appointment, making the continuum of care unbroken. You will want to find an Orthodontist that offers convenient office hours, including after school

70 | Education Answer Book 2017 | Sponsored Section

appointments. You will see your Orthodontist often; so, compatibility is important. Today, there are a variety of treatment options, but only an Orthodontist has the training and expertise to design a plan to achieve your desired smile. Ceramic braces deliver the esthetics of clear braces with the functionality of metal braces. For bite problems that previously required braces, Invisalign is available. Invisalign does the software imaging and,the manufacturing process, but you need a qualified, certified,mexperienced Orthodontist to achieve great results! Here are a few helpful questions when interviewing an Orthodontist: 1. What needs to be done? 2. What are my options? 3. What are the consequences if I don’t do the treatment now? 4. How long will the treatment take? 5. What are your office hours? 6. How long have you been in practice? 7. How much will this cost? 8. How is the treatment cost determined? Whether you are considering orthodontic treatment for yourself, your child or just someone you love, an Orthodontist will guide you through the process, align your teeth, correct your bite, and create a smile that you love. The laughter is up to you!


Visit choa.org/urgentcare to save your spot in line

T

o help patients and families spend less time in the waiting room, we offer online scheduling at every Children’s Urgent Care Center. This allows families to select an arrival time that’s convenient, enabling them to get in line before they leave home. Families receive a text message reminder shortly before scheduled to arrive. We accept walk-in patients during business hours at all of our Urgent Care Centers. Like every Children’s location, our Urgent Care Centers are tailored to fit the needs of children and young adults. The Children’s at Forsyth and Children’s at North Point Urgent Care Centers treat thousands of pediatric patients

each year. We treat a wide range of injuries and illnesses including cuts, broken bones and fevers. When your pediatrician is not available, the team at Children’s is specially trained to treat children and teens. With board-certified pediatricians on staff, on-site lab and X-ray services, and access to the Children’s network of more than 1,900 doctors trained in pediatric specialties, each child receives care tailored to his needs. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives.

Locations Children’s at Forsyth Located in The Collection at Forsyth 410 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 300 Cumming, GA 30041 Children’s at North Point 3795 Mansell Road Alpharetta, GA 30022 Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team are independent providers and are not Children’s Healthcare employees. Hours may be affected by unanticipated circumstances. Visit choa.org/ urgentcare for real-time updates.

Call 404-785-KIDS (5437) for more information

Sponsored Section | Education Answer Book 2017 | 71


• 1st Orthodontist in Alpharetta • Served Over 20,000 New Patients

• Diplomat of American Board of Orthodontics • Convenient Office Hours

Winner 3 years in a Row

Voted Best Orthodontist in North Fulton and South Forsyth

JEFFREY W. JORDAN, DMD, MSD, PC

4205 North Point Parkway • Alpharetta, GA 30022

770-751-1240 • www.jwjordan.com 72 | Education Answer Book 2017

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