Category Archives: North Fulton Schools

Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Education Guide Hits Newstands Today

Each year I look forward to the latest Education Guide from the Atlanta Business Chronicle to see how each school’s test scores changed from the previous year.  The scores on my blog will be updated to reflect the latest scores for all the school districts featured here, but here’s a preview of Fulton County’s High Schools ranked by SAT scores.  To receive the new edition of the Education Guide, email me at and provide a mailing address and I’ll be glad to get one in the mail to you.

Jan 23, 2013, 11:39am EST

Fulton County public high schools ranked by SAT score

Senior Online Editor- Atlanta Business Chronicle

Who tests the best in the metro?

Atlanta Business Chronicle’s annual Education Guide hits newsstands on Friday, Jan. 25, and it will certainly shed a lot of light on metro schools. But we also have some data that you will only get online. We will publish high school SAT scores by region so you can see the best and worst performers.

Today, we take a look at Fulton County public high schools:

  1. Northview High School — 1,769
  2. Johns Creek High School — 1,729
  3. Milton High School — 1,681
  4. Roswell High School – 1,677
  5. Chattahoochee High School — 1,674
  6. Alpharetta High School — 1,660
  7. Riverwood International Charter School — 1,631
  8. Centennial High School — 1,582
  9. North Springs High School — 1,459
  10. Independence High School –1,377
  11. Westlake High School — 1,316
  12. Tri-Cities High School — 1,299
  13. Creekside High School — 1,250
  14. Langston Hughes High School — 1,231
  15. Frank McClarin High School — 1,198
  16. Banneker High School — 1,160

For high schools, we show the mean scores for the SAT of the 2012 senior class. This score is calculated by using the student’s most recent test administration. The highest possible score is 2,400.

Source: Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

Click here for Atlanta’s public high schools ranked by SAT score.


Atlanta, DeKalb, and Fulton School Boards facing tough budget choices this year

Reported by Dan Whisenhunt at Reporter Newspapers

Local boards of education will be cutting costs and making do during the next budget year in an effort to deal with stagnant property values and increased expenses.

All three systems in the Reporter Newspapers area – Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Public Schools and Fulton County Schools – will begin the Fiscal Year 2013 on July 1. Only one, Fulton County Schools, doesn’t plan significant cuts and can balance its $810 million budget with $20 million from its reserves with no tax increases.

Officials with each school system said lower property tax collections and increased health care costs for employees are making it hard for local school boards to balance budgets.

“It’s the economy for the most part,” Atlanta schools spokesman Keith Bromery said. “The economy has not recovered to the point where the state can fully fund education … you find school districts have to cut back in relation to what they’re getting in terms of funding from the state.”

DeKalb County Schools is considering a $760 million budget but faces a $73 million budget shortfall. The school system has nothing in its reserves and the board is being asked to consider a 2-mill increase in property taxes, meaning a $200,000 home would see taxes increase by $160 a year.

Atlanta plans a $605.2 million budget but will need to fix a $47 million budget gap. The school board is considering cutting between 285 and 475 jobs across all departments.

So how did Fulton County start the year in a better position than its neighbors? Several reasons, Fulton School officials say. District 3 Board of Education member Gail Dean said in 2010 the school board voted to cut 1,000 jobs. Also, the board recently opted not to renew the charter of Fulton Science Academy after school board members and school officials could not reach an agreement. That saved the school system $3.8 million, Dean said.

Marvin Dereef, executive director of budget services for Fulton County Schools, said the school board’s earlier actions made this year’s budget process less painful. The school plans to keep 18 percent of its operating expenses in reserves, he said.

“We made the big choices early,” Dereef said. “We saw the writing on the wall and took action significantly enough where we could weather the storm for awhile.”

DeKalb County Schools BOE members are looking for alternatives to the proposal to raise taxes, spokesman Walter Woods said. DeKalb County schools during the last few months leaped from one crisis to another. Prior to the $73 million shortfall, it faced an unanticipated $36.5 shortfall in its sales-tax funded school construction account.

The BOE found a way to move sales tax money around to cover it.

Woods said the BOE is weighing its options to deal with the latest dilemma, saying “everything is on the table.”

Woods said it’s too early to discuss whether the system will be able to replenish its reserve account.

“We have to balance the budget first and then we’ll talk about a reserve,” Woods said.

Like DeKalb, Atlanta Public Schools faced daunting challenges within the last year. The system continues to deal with the fallout from a cheating scandal that found some teachers manipulated test results to boost scores system-wide. Recently, the BOE angered many in the community with plans to close and rezone schools.

The school system in April voted to close seven schools. Bromery said “there may be some savings” as a result, but said it will mostly be a non-factor.

“It wasn’t to save money,” Bromery said of the school closures. “It was to focus more of our enrollment into a fewer number of schools. To a degree, this will be offset by the additional resources that will be placed in these schools that will see increases in enrollment.”

Bromery said there is also a planned 10 percent cut across all departments in the Atlanta Schools system, except for curriculum and instruction, which will see a 7 percent cut.

“The revenues have not kept up with spending we need to reduce that or eliminate it,” Bromery said.

Atlanta High Schools Ranked by U.S. News and World Report

U.S. News and World Report reviewed 21,776 U.S. public high schools; 77 Georgia schools made their rankings.

Of the Georgia schools ranked in 2012 for the U.S. News Best High Schools, 8 were awarded gold medals, 30 earned silver medals, and 39 received bronze medals.

To be eligible for a state ranking, a school must be awarded a national gold or silver medal.

Top Ranked GA Schools

615 12TH ST, AUGUSTA, GA 30901
10625 PARSONS RD, DULUTH, GA 30097
3737 BROCK RD, DULUTH, GA 30096

See complete Georgia High School Rankings



North Fulton Schools Recognized for Music Education

For 13th year, Fulton County named one of the best places to live for music education Only two school systems in nation on list for 13 consecutive years Fulton County has been recognized for a 13th consecutive year as one of the best places to live for music education, thanks to the Fulton County School System’s top quality music programs.
Only two school systems in the nation – one of which is Fulton County – have been recognized each of the 13 years the annual, national survey has been given. Released this week, the “Best Communities for Music Education” list represents an annual snapshot of music education at its best and is based on a nationwide survey conducted earlier this year by the NAMM Foundation and several partner organizations in the fields of music and education. NAMM is a not-for-profit, international association that represents the musical instruments and products industry.

“In national music education circles, Fulton County Schools is well known and respected,” said Superintendent Robert Avossa. “In fact, just recently three of our schools [Alpharetta High School, Chattahoochee High School and Johns Creek High School] were accepted to perform next winter at the prestigious Midwest Clinic. This is incredible news – to have three ensembles selected from one school system is rare – and it shows just how amazing Fulton County’s music programs are.”

Thousands of public school and independent teachers, school and district administrators, school board members, parents and community leaders participated in the web-based “Best Communities for Music Education” survey earlier this year. The participants answered detailed questions about funding, enrollment, student-teacher ratios, participation in music classes, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, participation in private music lessons and other factors in their communities’ quality of music education.

Partners in the annual survey include Americans for the Arts, League of American Orchestras, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Music for All, Music Teachers National Association, National Guild For Community Arts Education, Yamaha Corporation of America, Young Audiences, and VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

Search for homes here by school district

Milton Graduation Rate at Top in North Fulton

Alpharetta, Milton and the rest of the traditional high schools scored above the state average, with only Roswell High falling below Fulton County’s average.

Graduation rates for Georgia’s four-year public high schools have been released, and most North Fulton schools are way above the state average. Milton High turns out graduates at a rate almost 30 percent higher than the state average.

The Georgia Department of Education released the new, four-year public high school graduation rate: 67.4 percent. The new calculation, known as the adjusted cohort rate, will allow states to uniformly compare graduation rates across the nation. Graduation rates may appear to have dropped with the new method even though more students have graduated.

  • Milton HS                      96.48
  • Chattahoochee HS          89.96
  • Northview HS                 89.38
  • Johns Creek HS              88.71
  • Fulton Science HS        86.84
  • Alpharetta HS               85.76
  • Centennial HS                 74.70
  • Roswell HS                     68.55
  • Independence                38.55
  • Fulton County avg.         70.05
  • State                             67.44

“The new  formula provides a more accurate, uniform look at how many students we  are graduating from high school,” said State School Superintendent Dr.  John Barge. “I believe that in order to tackle a problem you have to  have honest and accurate data. We will be able to use this new data as a  baseline to see how our important initiatives are impacting graduation  rates in the future.”

Historically, states have calculated graduation rates using varying methods, creating inconsistent data from one state to the next. The new calculation means that the graduation rate may appear dramatically different even if the number of students who actually graduate hasn’t changed.

“We’ve  known for some time and communicated that this new formula would show a  lower graduation rate than the rate under the previous formula; however,  regardless of calculation formula, the state has significantly raised  graduation rates over the last several years, but there is still much  work to do,” Barge said.

Momentum for all states to produce a comparable four-year graduation rate began in 2005 with the leadership of the National Governors’ Association. Governors of all 50 states made a commitment to a common method for calculating each state’s high school graduation rate by signing the Graduation Counts Compact.

North Fulton High Schools Honored for AP Achievement

More than half of Fulton’s high schools honored for Advanced Placement achievement as reported on the Fulton County Schools website. 

Today is AP Day in Georgia, a fitting day to recognize the more than half of Fulton County high schools that received designations as “AP Honor Schools” by the College Board, the organization in charge of Advanced Placement and the SAT. Eleven Fulton high schools were named to its annual list of high-performing high schools.

The 2012 awards are based on the Class of 2011’s testing results and are grouped into five categories: AP Merit Schools, AP STEM Schools, AP STEM Achievement Schools, AP Challenge Schools, and AP Access and Support Schools. The STEM categories recognize high schools with achievement in AP Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics courses.

“These awards are validation that our high schools are encouraging students to challenge themselves and meet college-level expectations,” said Superintendent Robert Avossa. “Advanced Placement courses provide an extra rigor to high-achieving students and help prepare them for a college environment. I couldn’t be more pleased to see so many schools named on these lists.”

AP Merit Schools Nine Fulton schools received recognition as AP Merit Schools, the most of any school system in Georgia. The AP Merit distinction recognizes those with at least 20 percent of students taking AP exams and with at least half of those exams receiving a score of 3 or higher. Each of the schools have received this distinction for five consecutive years except Johns Creek High School, which is a newcomer to the list.

·   Alpharetta High School    ·   Centennial High School    ·   Chattahoochee High School    ·   Johns Creek High School    ·   Milton High School    ·   North Springs Charter High School    ·   Northview High School    ·   Riverwood International Charter School    ·   Roswell High School

AP STEM Schools All nine schools named as AP Merit Schools also were named AP STEM Schools, a category that recognizes schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses. New to the AP Honor Schools list, Fulton Science Academy High School, was recognized for high math and science achievement, and Westlake High School was highlighted for a second consecutive year.

·   Alpharetta High School    ·   Centennial High School    ·   Chattahoochee High School    ·   Fulton Science Academy High School    ·   Johns Creek High School    ·   Milton High School    ·   North Springs Charter High School    ·   Northview High School    ·   Riverwood International Charter School    ·   Roswell High School    ·   Westlake High School

AP STEM Achievement Schools AP STEM Achievement Schools go beyond the AP STEM Schools category to recognize schools that have at least 40% of math and science test-takers earning scores of 3 or higher. In Fulton, 10 received the distinction.

·   Alpharetta High School    ·   Centennial High School    ·   Chattahoochee High School    ·   Fulton Science Academy High School    ·   Johns Creek High School    ·   Milton High School    ·   North Springs Charter High School    ·   Northview High School    ·   Riverwood International Charter School    ·   Roswell High School

AP Challenge Schools Fulton Science Academy High School, which was formerly known as TEACH, was the only school in Fulton County to be named an AP Challenge School, a distinction that recognizes schools with fewer than 900 students offering AP classes in core content areas.

AP Access and Support Schools Similarly, North Springs Charter High School was named an AP Access and Support School. The award recognizes North Springs’ effort to make Advanced Placement courses available to students of all backgrounds, and that at least 30% of its African-American or Hispanic AP test-takers scored a 3 or higher on national exams.

Advanced Placement classes offer rigorous college-level learning options to students in high school. The College Board administers AP exams each spring, with scores ranging from 1 to 5. Students who receive a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams are eligible to receive college credit or may be exempt from some introductory college courses.

After state funding was cut for 2011, Fulton now funds all AP examination costs not provided through state or federal funds. Funding this initiative ensures that all students have the opportunity to test their college-level knowledge and possibly earn college course credit.

Search here for homes by School District

Top Atlanta School Districts Lead Home Sales

Good school districts lead metro area in sales

Residential Real Estate Summit    from Atlanta Business Chronicle  by Joe Rauch, Contributing Writer

Date: Friday, February 3, 2012, 6:00am EST

For the hottest neighborhoods when it comes to Atlanta real estate, look no further than the places with the best schools.

Real estate agents, builders and industry analysts said homes in the highest demand in 2011 were in the metro area’s best school districts.

Parents are looking to take advantage of depressed prices to move into better school districts before the excess supply of homes in these areas dries up.

“It used to be call white flight, but now I’d call it educational flight,” said Dan Forsman, CEO of Prudential Georgia Realty. “[Parents] want to put their kids in the best school districts. It’s all about the schools and the kids.”

Real estate agents said North Fulton, East Cobb and South Forsyth were all areas with relatively heavy demand right now, in large part because of the strength of their school systems.

And the data appears to back up the anecdotal view.

Open market sales, excluding foreclosures, were highest in Fulton County in 2011, with 5,324. Atlanta’s core county was followed by neighboring Cobb and Gwinnett counties.

Forsyth County totaled 1,514 open market sales in 2011, but had the second-highest average sales price of any of the 11 metro counties surveyed by Bridge Interactive Group LLC.

In contrast, Clayton County — with its school system’s well-chronicled struggles — posted the the third lowest number of sales with roughly 1,000 and lowest average sales price for homes in the metro region at roughly $66,000 last year.

Many view 2009-2011 as a reset for the broad expectations for Atlanta’s real estate market.

“This is our 1934. This is our baseline year,” said Mason Maynard, referring to the year during the Great Depression that saw a series of sweeping economic and political changes that affected the country for decades to come.

For some sellers, the calculus has swung over the last year from waiting for the market’s rebound to simply escaping the fatigue of the last few years, real estate agents said.

“People are tired of waiting at this point,” said Carrie Faletti, a Realtor with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.

Sellers are willing to get rid of a property at this point, real estate agents said, if they can find a similar bargain when they’re hunting for the replacement home.

But one logjam she notes is that homebuyers are not moving up the price chain when they buy their next home, she said.

“It’s difficult for people to move up,” she said, noting that buyers often simply stay at the same price point, given depressed prices and buyers looking for a good deal.

One motivator for the market, Faletti said, would be corporate relocation.

There were few companies moving in 2009 and 2010, she said, creating another drain on the market of both eager sellers and buyers.

Buyers, real estate agents said, still largely exist in the king of all buyers’ markets.

Agents said buyer bidding wars are largely nonexistent outside of several key Atlanta markets, with many buyers looking to buy foreclosed homes for less than $100,000 per year.

For foreclosed homes, the story varies widely depending on the location.

And when selling foreclosed homes in in-demand neighborhoods, the banks are laying out higher prices and tougher terms.

“They’re playing a little more hardball,” said Becky Vinson, a real estate agent with Realty Associates of Atlanta.

“There’s still deals, just not as many on foreclosures and short sales.”

For now, the sales market inside the city’s core appears to be much healthier than the outlying regions.

“We’re not taking much of a hit intown,” said Ben McKenzie, Realtor with Prudential Georgia Realty, who focuses primarily on intown home sales. “It’s a beauty contest and price war right now.”

But in far-flung suburbs, foreclosure sales are still seeing plummeting prices.

In Gwinnett County, for example, once a high-flying hub of Atlanta’s suburban expansion, foreclosures in 2011 were roughly half those posted in 2010, but prices for those foreclosed homes had dropped over the last two years to roughly half their 2009 values.

One area that will lag the broader housing market’s sales, agents said, are condominiums.

The large projects — concentrated in Midtown, Buckhead and other bustling intown neighborhoods — were a high-profile symbol of the construction that took place during the mid-decade housing boom.

But agents said condo sales will likely take more time to catch single-family home sales.

“There’s a number of developments in Midtown that are looking to close out” their last few units and, McKenzie said, the sellers of those units are not as concerned with price in the current market.

Even amid the sluggish sales figures, across the metro market, new-home builders are expressing signs of cautious optimism.

Chuck Fuhr, division president for Ryland Homes of Atlanta, said he projects to build about 225 homes in 2012, up from 178 in 2010.

Fuhr said his company’s new homes are able to compete with the existing pool of homes because some buyers are determined to buy a new home — whether for warranties or improved energy efficiency — over an existing home. But, he said, builders are being selective, choosing only the most in-demand neighborhoods and lots for new projects.

“Sales are moving in the right direction, as painfully slow as it might be,” McKenzie said. “But it’s tough to project what the definition of the new normal will be.”

See article here in the Atlanta Business Chronicle

North Fulton Schools Recognized for High Performance

For a sixth year, more than a third of all Fulton County schools have been recognized for high performance or improvement, according to a recent announcement made by the Georgia Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

The Single Statewide Accountability System (SSAS) recognition program awarded 38 Fulton County schools – an increase from the previous year’s 34 schools – in two categories, Greatest Gains and Highest Performance. The annual list, which this year included 370 schools across Georgia, highlights those that are making great strides in educating students.

“It’s outstanding that the number of Fulton schools receiving state recognition continues to grow,” said Superintendent Robert Avossa. “From 31 in 2009, to 34 in 2010, to 38 in 2011 – these increases show that our schools are meeting their goals when it comes to teaching and preparing students for the future. I couldn’t be more proud of our students and teachers.”

Schools in the Greatest Gains category showed the greatest improvement in scores on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) or the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT). Those in the Highest Performance category demonstrated the highest achievement on the CRCT or GHSGT. Awards are granted in four levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. (See chart for a description of awards criteria)

The SSAS award structure combines criteria for making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), a cornerstone of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (often know as No Child Left Behind), with performance data on state curriculum exams.

The awards announcement coincides with the release of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement’s 2010-11 Report Card ( The report card, which includes Fulton County Schools data, provides an online resource of student achievement, personnel and fiscal data for each school and school system in the state, as well as preschool, higher education and teacher certification information.

Greatest Gains Category:

Elkins Pointe Middle School

Gullatt Elementary School
Seaborn Lee Elementary School
Hapeville Charter Middle School

Highest Performance Category:

Crabapple Crossing Elementary School
Mountain Park Elementary School
Shakerag Elementary School
State Bridge Crossing Elementary School
Summit Hill Elementary School
Wilson Creek Elementary School
Fulton Science Academy
Northview High School

Birmingham Falls Elementary School
Dolvin Elementary School
Findley Oaks Elementary School
Autrey Mill Middle School
Northwestern Middle School
River Trail Middle School
Johns Creek High School
Milton High School

Barnwell Elementary School
Creek View Elementary School
Heards Ferry Elementary School
Lake Windward Elementary School
Medlock Bridge Elementary School
New Prospect Elementary School
Sweet Apple Elementary School
Webb Bridge Middle School
Chattahoochee High School

Abbotts Hill Elementary School
Cogburn Woods Elementary School
Fulton Sunshine Academy
Ocee Elementary School
Crabapple Middle School
Hopewell Middle School
Taylor Road Middle School
Alpharetta High School
Fulton Science Academy High School


Northview High School Ranks at Top in Atlanta Magazine’s 50 Best High Schools

Atlanta Magazine’s January Edition featuring 50 Best Public High Schools rates Georgia High Schools on several indicators to measure college-readiness.  The indicators are from the latest report card compiled by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, which is for the 2009-2010 school year and include, Average SAT, GHSGT/Math, GHSGT/Language Arts, Graduation rate, Advanced Placement exams, AP passing rate, Learning support, HOPE eligibility, and College preparatory diploma.

Northview High School in Johns Creek ranked in the top 3 for 4 of the indicators.

They ranked #1 for Average SAT reflected from the scores for seniors in the most recent test.  See below for top 10 schools.

School                                  Average SAT     

Northview                              1728

Alpharetta                              1719

Walton                                    1711

Chattahoochee                        1687

Etowah                                   1679

Wheeler                                  1655

Pope                                       1653

Brookwood                             1651

Milton                                     1650

Riverwood                              1640

#3 for GHSGT/LA (Georgia High School Graduation Test, Language Arts) for percent of first time takers passing. See below for top 10 schools.

Dekalb School of the Arts        100

Lassiter                                      99

Northview                                  99

Starrs Mill                                  99

Alpharetta                                  98

Chattahoochee                           98

Johns Creek                               98

Pope                                           98

Sequoyah                                   98

The School of the Arts at Carver      98

#2 for AP Passing Rate for percent of AP exams with a score of 3 or higher.  See below for top 10 schools.

Roswell                                      88.9

Northview                                  87.7

Johns Creek                               86.3

Chattahoochee                           84.7

Etowah                                       84.5

Alpharetta                                  83.1

Centennial                                  81.3

Starrs Mill                                  80.4

Wheeler                                      80.3

Brookwood                                79.6

#1 for HOPE Eligibility for percent of graduates who are HOPE-eligible. See below for top 10 schools.

Northview                                   72

DeKalb School of the Arts        71.9

Starrs Mill                                  69.5

Whitewater                                68.1

Walton                                       63.9

Chattahoochee                           62.2

Pope                                           62.1

Harrison                                     59.2

Lassiter                                      55.9

Alpharetta                                  55.8

northview high school





Atlanta Magazine Rates Georgia’s Top High Schools

January 2012: Top 50 High Schools
Which metro Atlanta public high schools best prepare students for college?
Michele Cohen Marill

When high school ends with a flip of the mortarboard tassel, only one question matters: Are the graduates ready for their next step?

The answer varies greatly. About 70 percent of Georgia high school students go on to college. Last year ten students earned perfect scores on the SAT. More than a third took at least one college-level course during high school.

“More and more kids are taking the most rigorous course work we can offer them in high school, and more of them are showing they can do college work and receive college credit,” says Becky Chambers, program manager for college readiness at the Georgia Department of Education.

But too many students find that their high school didn’t prepare them to succeed in college. About one in four need learning support when they enter Georgia colleges, and a similar number drop out of college after their first year.

We decided to take a close look at how metro Atlanta high schools rate on measures of college-readiness. We used nine indicators from the latest report card compiled by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, which is for the 2009–2010 school year. Schools were ranked for each indicator, and then rankings were averaged to produce an overall ranking. The top fifty are featured here.*

Ratings often reflect differences in school populations. DeKalb School of the Arts had just 291 students; Brookwood High School in Gwinnett had 3,420. At Crim High School in Atlanta, 97 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced lunch due to low family income; at Northview High School in Fulton, just 5 percent did. Schools with International Baccalaureate programs may not have performed as well on AP indicators, as they had relatively fewer top students participating.

But overall, the rankings show how our high schools are doing at their core mission: graduating students who can meet the challenges of higher education.

We are grateful to Terry Sloope, assistant director for research with the A.L. Burruss Institute at Kennesaw State University, for technical assistance. The mission of the Burruss Institute is to enhance the ability of governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations to make informed decisions for the public good by providing relevant data, technical resources, and skill development.

Average SAT
GHSGT/Language Arts
Graduation rate
Advanced Placement exams
AP passing rate
Learning support
HOPE eligibility
College preparatory diploma

Source: GOSA Report Card, 2009–2010 (the most recent available).