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Niche: Forsyth schools among best in state

Public education is one of the main reasons families move to Forsyth County, and recently released rankings of the best schools and districts across the nation for 2017 will not curb that trend.

Niche, a website that helps parents search for the best neighborhoods and schools for their children released the 2017 Best Schools lists, placing 23 of the 34 schools that were open in 2016 in the top 25 of their school level in Georgia, including all nine middle schools.

As a county, Forsyth County Schools was ranked fourth out of 170, behind much smaller districts Buford City Schools, Decatur City Schools and Oconee County Schools.

The district was also ranked No. 7 of 170 for having the best teachers.

According to the site, Johns Creek is the top-ranked elementary school in Forsyth County and No. 6 in the state.

“The dedication, teamwork and collaboration of our staff, students and families has made this success possible,” said Alyssa Degliumberto, principal at Johns Creek. “We thank everyone for their support and are excited JCE continues to be recognized for the accomplishments of our community.”

Of the 20 elementary schools in the district that were open last year, 12 were ranked in the top 25, 17 in the top 40, including:

• Johns Creek: 6

• Settles Bridge: 9

• Whitlow: 11

• Shiloh Point: 12

• Big Creek: 13

• Daves Creek: 14

• Brookwood: 15

• Mashburn: 17

• Midway: 19

• Sawnee: 22

• Haw Creek: 24

• Sharon: 25

The top five elementary schools on this list are all in Decatur.

All nine middle schools were ranked in the top 20:

• Piney Grove: 4

• South Forsyth: 5

• Riverwatch: 6

• Vickery Creek: 9

• Lakeside: 10

• Liberty: 13

• Otwell: 14

• Little Mill: 15

• North Forsyth: 17

Two of the five high schools —Lambert at No. 5 in the state and South Forsyth at No. 9 — made their way to the top 25.

“Continual growth at the highest level is incredibly tough, and it takes dedicated persistence toward excellence,” Lambert Principal Gary Davison said. “Our families, students and staff are focused on those elements/processes that are required to this end.

“It takes the entire Longhorn Nation to earn this recognition.”

Johns Creek and Lambert also received the highest CCRPI score of elementary schools in the county, which is a college and career readiness index measured by the Georgia Department of Education.

Pinecrest Academy, a private parochial K-12 school that sits about a mile from South on Peachtree Parkway, was named the No. 3 private Catholic school of 12 in the state.

Niche analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Education and more than 60 million K-12 school reviews and survey responses, covering topics like test scores, college data, teachers, diversity and student life.