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Schools in south Forsyth see most student growth

SOUTH FORSYTH — In what may come as little surprise, student enrollment at Forsyth County Schools has increased from last year.

Thursday’s current total of 44,114 students is 1,416 more than last year’s final number.

And this number will grow, said Mike Evans, director of information and instructional support services for the school district. That’s because not every student has registered yet — 54 have appointments and 24 have started the process but have incomplete forms — and schools often welcome students who move to the county during the year.

Also not surprising, the concentration of growth has been seen in south Forsyth elementary schools, especially Big Creek, Shiloh Point and Johns Creek.

Forsyth County ranked sixth last year in growth in the state at 4.5 percent. However, the five districts that saw more growth — ranging from 6 percent in Jefferson City to 63 percent in Montgomery County — have at most 4,537 students (Decatur City).

Twenty years ago, Forsyth County was the 30th largest district in the state. Now it is the seventh. Then, the school system consistently grew by 11 to 12 percent each year.

This year, there are 5,543 new district enrollees in kindergarten through 12thgrade, Evans said. New students minus those who graduated, withdrew or moved away is where actual growth comes from.

Here are some characteristics of students who are new to the district:

* 114 entered from homeschool

* 421 entered from private schools

* 2,835 have never attended school before

* 880 entered from another state or country

* 1,286 entered from another county in Georgia

* 7 re-entered after having withdrawn

Gateway Academy currently has 32 students enrolled, while iAchieve Virtual Academy boasts 183.

What stood out the most to district officials in academies of creative education, however, was the current enrollment of 192 students at Forsyth Academy, a hybrid curriculum originally opened as a charter school.

Evans said enrollment at the academy previously averaged about 70 to 80 students.

He said full-time equivalent enrollment is projected to break 50,000 students by 2018. By that time, Brandywine Elementary, DeSana Middle and Denmark High schools likely will have opened.