North Forsyth recently became the first high school in the county, and one of just 17 in the state and 169 in the nation, to be named a Recognized ASCA Model Program.
Begun in 2004, RAMP is a national distinction recognizing excellence in comprehensive, data-driven school counseling programs. The designation lasts three years and can be renewed for an additional three.
Chestatee, Settles Bridge, Sharon, Silver City and Vickery Creek elementary schools in Forsyth County have previously earned the honor.
Susan Atkins, Forsyth director of student support services, said the designation is much more of a daunting task for high schools, whose students have many teachers and various extracurricular interests.
"We are very proud of [North],” she said. “It was not just hard work that they've done, because all of our counselors work hard, but it was focused work.
"We really appreciate their focused work to support the achievement of their students and value their contributions to school improvement."
It's an honor North’s lead counselor, Kathy Wigley, and her colleagues welcomed.
"But more rewarding is knowing that we are providing a data driven, effective counseling program for all students," Wigley said. "We continue working to improve our services for all students, their families and our community."
To earn the designation, counselors had to submit three years of data showing progress. Atkins said the rigorous application outlined the school's goals, including increasing the success rate for dual enrollment and math II.
"What North did differently is they monitored their progress over three years," she said. "At North, they developed a systematic plan that identified students that needed particular care … and they kept their data and monitored [it].”