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District steady on SAT scores
Overall average dips, but more taking test
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Forsyth County News

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For more on how the Forsyth County school system fared on the SAT, including individual school results, go online at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us.

The Forsyth County school system has surpassed the state’s average SAT scores for 2011, according to results released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education.

In addition, 341 more of its high school students took the test, bringing the total to 80 percent of the 2011 class.

The SAT is an aptitude test that measures a student’s verbal and math abilities and is often used as an entrance exam for many colleges and universities.

Buster Evans, district superintendent, said having more students take the test is exciting, but there still is room for improvement.

"After continuous years of climbing district averages, we are disappointed that our overall 2011 system scores dropped nine points," Evans said.

"Student performance on the SAT opens doors for our graduates. We will continue our SAT 2400 Challenge to ensure we remain focused on preparing our students to do their best on this national assessment."

The 2400 Challenge in an effort to lift the district to first in the state for SAT scores.

Officials hope to accomplish the initiative, which draws its name from a perfect score on the SAT, by better preparing students for the exam.

Of the district’s high schools, South Forsyth led with an average score of 1,639, an increase of 16 points from the previous year.

The district and Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce will award the school with the Superintendent’s Award of Excellence for greatest gains and the 2400 Challenge Cup for highest overall score in the county.

The school has won the Challenge Cup three times. The awards will be presented to the school during the Oct. 20 Board of Education meeting.

South Principal Jason Branch hailed the achievement.

"These SAT scores are a testament to the hard work of our student body and teaching staff," Branch said. "We are working hard to continually improve and do what is right for all students."

Lambert High’s average score was 1,594, West Forsyth’s was 1,564, North Forsyth’s was 1,518 and Forsyth Central’s was 1,515.

The school district has posted gains in SAT scores over the last five years in all areas.

According to system figures, critical reading average scores rose eight points in 2011 to 524, mathematics increased by 10 points to 529 and writing move up two points to 509.

"One area of tremendous growth is in the performance of our Hispanic student population," said Lissa Pijanowski, associate superintendent.

"The number of Hispanic seniors taking the SAT has tripled in the last five years and increased in critical reading by 63 points, mathematics by 49 points and writing by 32 points."