Tag 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 dede@atlantafinehomes.com 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.


A New School Year Begins

The beginning of a new school year always brings mixed emotions. When my children were younger the summer seemed to go on for an eternity, but now that they are older and much more self-sufficient I wish the lazy days of summer could stretch out just a little longer. Since my younger son recently passed the driving milestone of life I will no longer be driving a child to school. As excited as he is to be driving his own wheels onto campus feeling quite full of his upper classman status, me and the family dog will be missing our morning drive onto campus feeling the excitement as another day unfolds. While I’ll miss the occasional conversation and small insight into my son’s day, Georgia, our chocolate lab, will miss the breeze in her face, the other SUV’s with happy dogs passing by, the quirky crossing guard/wrestling coach that would bark as we passed, jumping in the front seat as my son got out, and happily returning home for her morning nap.

My older son is still somewhat scarred from his first day of Kindergarten when I showed up to ride home with him on the school bus. You would have thought I was insisting on accompanying him on his first date. While he’s always eager for a new experience and leaps in head first with no hesitation, I’ve spent his entire life attempting to direct his enthusiasm toward safe and law abiding endeavors.

My younger son is much more content to go with the flow and was in no hurry to go to school or experience anything outside of a very small radius of his mother. After crying every morning for his first 2 weeks of first grade and begging me to get a job at the school, he eventually settled in.

As I recently shopped with my college aged son at Target for his back to school essentials, my heart was warmed by a younger boy proudly bragging to his mother about all of the hidden pockets, clips, and zippers on his Mario Brothers book bag. Instead we were buying shampoo, deodorant, and a toilet scrubbing brush with a lesson on toilet cleaning and the importance of keeping clean surroundings for a clean mind and sense of well-being. Where are the Mario Brothers or Power Rangers toilet scrubbers? Surely that would elicit some excitement for college aged boys facing toilet cleaning for the first time.

This week my high school junior son left his bed before noon for the first time all summer to rush off to get his books and my college junior son headed off to college this morning comparing his excitement level to that of Christmas day, so I will try to muster my excitement to trade in the less structured days of summer for the daily grind and find the joy in all that a new school year brings. Maybe Georgia and I will just take a morning ride the first couple of weeks for old times’ sake.

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.

Metro Atlanta’s Top Education Leaders Recognized in Atlanta Business Chronicle

Date: Friday, May 11, 2012, 6:00am EDT – Last Modified: Friday, May 11, 2012, 10:53am EDT

Welcome to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s annual Who’s Who in Education guide. Each year we offer a look at some of the top leaders in the education field — from those vested with government responsibility for our education system to the leaders of public and private primary and secondary schools, and the heads of our top colleges and universities.

Within this section you will find names and faces of key leaders of metro Atlanta and Georgia educational institutions and programs. To deliver this listing, we rely on our annual Book of Lists, so it includes names from our 25 Largest Colleges and Universities, our 10 largest private schools, our 10 largest business schools and our largest technical schools.

We also included other area colleges and universities, top government officials, top law schools and top MBA programs, along with names of metro school superintendents.

In this section, you will also hear from education icon Ron Clark, co-founder of the Ron Clark Academy, who talks about the important relationship between business and education.

To quote Clark, “As the Atlanta area schools seek help from the corporate and philanthropic community, it is imperative that they develop relationships and realize that strong bonds, sincere appreciation and a connection to the impact they are making will turn minor support into substantial donations over time.”

Clark also notes that while there may be a tendency to become cynical in the wake of the recent cheating scandal, all schools and educators should not be painted with the same brush.

“With so many stories of cheating scandals and negative incidents, it is easy to forget that the worst is always sensationalized and that within each of our local schools you will find pockets of outstanding educators who are devoting their lives to the children of Atlanta,” he writes.

Click here for the entire article and rankings of Education Leaders

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

Tutor Near Buckhead Private Schools

An experienced tutor can be an invaluable resource in helping students prepare for standardized tests.  One of my friends is a very knowlegeable and highly recommended tutor for the SAT, ACT, and PSAT.  Being the mother of two college-aged sons in top colleges, she knows the importance of doing well on these tests and can offer insights into this somewhat arduous process..  Her calm demeanor I’m sure is also an asset when guiding children and parents during this often anxious time.

Susan tutors in the following:

SAT reading, vocabulary, grammar, and the essay

ACT english, reading, science, and the essay

She does not tutor math

Susan graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in Biology and has  4+ years of experience tutoring one-on-one and in group settings.  She personally takes each test three times a year to stay current and tutors with real test material. She is available at two locations: the Northside Parkway Public Library and at her home off Windsor Parkway for $75/hour.  You can reach her at: Susmaz@aol.com or 404-255-4779.

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 (www.gaosa.org/report.aspx). 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