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Schools rank high on CRCT
Nearly all in top 10 for some categories
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Forsyth County News

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For more on the CRCT results, visit Forsyth County Schools online at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us.

Test scores released Wednesday show Forsyth County’s schools continue to rank among the state’s best.

The schools learned that they fared well — in most cases, quite well — on the 2011 CRCT, or Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, which is given to third- through eighth-graders statewide.

The students are tested each year in math, science, reading, social studies and English/language arts.

Last month, the state released the district results for 2011, which placed Forsyth among the state’s leaders.

Associate Superintendent Lissa Pijanowski said Wednesday’s numbers revealed that the local "elementary and middle schools are well represented among the top 10 percent of all schools in the state of Georgia."

"While test scores are but one measure of achievement, these results reflect the hard work of our teachers and students," she said.

According to Pijanowski, meeting "standard on the CRCT is the floor, not the ceiling."

"Forsyth leaders and teachers continue to seek new and innovative ways to reach higher levels of student performance," she said.

All but one of the system’s schools scored high enough to make the state’s top 10 percent in at least two of the five testing categories.

Riverwatch Middle School was the system’s top performer in eighth-grade math and social studies, ranking first in the state in both subjects.

Big Creek Elementary School ranked first for fifth-grade math, while Johns Creek Elementary School was number one for fifth-grade English/language arts.

Big Creek, Brookwood, Haw Creek, Johns Creek, Settles Bridge, Sharon, Shiloh and Vickery Creek elementary schools ranked in the top 10 percent of the state’s 1,261 elementary schools in every category, according to the results.

Lakeside, North Forsyth, Riverwatch, South Forsyth and Vickery Creek middle schools also made the top 10 percent across the board among the state’s 592 middle schools.

From here, Pijanowski said, the system will work toward raising all scores in all schools for next year.

"Each of our schools creates performance goals for themselves for each year," she said. "They analyze their data and they look at where they can improve in terms of content, and they create an annual action plan to improve in those areas."

The schools start by looking at students as a group. Instead of comparing fifth-graders in 2010 with their counterparts in 2011, the system looks at last year’s class as compared to this year’s sixth-graders to track improvements.

"That’s actually a better way to look at it so you’re actually tracking student data and their achievement over time, rather than the achievement of one grade level in different groups of kids," Pijanowski said.

It makes the process a little more complicated, with teachers having to plan for a new batch of students each year, but the benefits allow each pupil to be pushed to the next level.

"When [teachers] get a new group of kids … they do analysis of where the kids are and how they performed prior to them being in their classroom," Pijanowski said. "Then they utilize that data to then map out a course of action for those students.

"Teachers have become extremely savvy in designing learning for kids that meet their individual needs."

On the district results released last month, at least 90 percent of all Forsyth County students met or exceeded standards.

The system’s eighth-grade math results led Georgia, while its fourth-graders tied Oconee County for first place in math. The county also ranked second in several categories.