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22 schools earn honors from state
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Forsyth County News

At a glance
Forsyth County schools earning Governor's Office of Student Achievement awards include the following:

Platinum level
* Big Creek, Daves Creek, Sharon and Vickery Creek elementary schools; South Forsyth Middle

Gold level
* Johns Creek, Settles Bridge and Shiloh Point elementary schools; Riverwatch Middle

Silver level
* Piney Grove and Vickery Creek middle schools; South and West Forsyth high schools

Bronze level
* Brookwood, Chattahoochee, Haw Creek and Matt elementary schools; Lakeside, Liberty and North Forsyth middle schools; Lambert High School and Forsyth Academy

Source: Forsyth County Schools

Staff and students at more than 20 Forsyth County schools returned from the holidays to some good news.

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and the state education board have recognized 22 of Forsyth’s schools for being among the state’s 233 highest performing.

Forsyth Superintendent Buster Evans said the feat was an improvement over last year, when 17 local schools were recognized for highest performance.

“We are thrilled to have our number of schools achieving highest performance status increase," he said. "We congratulate our staff and students for receiving this great honor."

The awards were based on the schools’ performances on state curriculum exams and adequate yearly progress, or AYP, status during the 2009-10 school year.

Results from the Criterion Referenced Competency Test, or CRCT, and the Georgia High School Graduation Test, or GHSGT, are used to assess performance.

Nine Forsyth schools earned the bronze award, indicating they made AYP, while 95 percent of their students met state test standards and 20 percent exceeded them.

Among those schools was Liberty Middle.

Principal Connie Stovall said the award recognized the "due diligence of our teachers and students.”

“We were delighted with our scores when we received them,” she said. “State recognition is an added bonus that validates the hard work of the Liberty Middle School community.

"This is an honor that excites and energizes all those at Liberty as we prepare for the 2011 CRCT.”

Four local schools earned silver status, which means they have achieved adequate yearly progress for two years, with 96 percent or more of students meeting and 25 percent exceeding the standards.

Four schools also achieved gold status, which has the same requirements as silver, but 30 percent of students must exceed and 97 percent must meet standards.

For the 2008-09 school year, three schools earned the coveted platinum award, requiring three years of making AYP and 98 percent at and 35 percent above standards.

During the 2009-10 school year, that number rose to five.

Among platinum winners was Daves Creek Elementary School, which also earned the honor the previous year.

“We are thrilled and honored to receive the platinum award for the second year in a row,” said Principal Eric Ashton. “Being in this elite group is very humbling.

"Our achievements are the results of the dedication and tireless collaboration between our staff, our students and our parents.”