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South shines in two listings
One report also ranks other four high schools
South WEB
Students at South Forsyth High move through the hallways before class on Thursday. The school ranks high in two recent reports. - photo by Jim Dean

Two separate publications have recognized South Forsyth High School as among the nation’s best.

Newsweek Magazine ranked the school as 265th among the some 27,000 reviewed for the study for 2012. Last year, South was listed as 294th in the nation.

South also improved its standing in the Washington Post Challenge Index of top U.S. high schools, ranking 186th in the nation, up from 554th.

West Forsyth High also improved its ranking, rising from 901 to 251.

While just South and West made the list last year, all of Forsyth’s high schools were ranked in the Washington Post’s top 1,900 schools, with Lambert at 534th, Forsyth Central at 1,213th and North at 1,672nd.

“This is the first time that all of our five high schools have been included on the Washington Post list,” said Forsyth County School Superintendent Buster Evans. “The rankings are extremely competitive and it is an honor for our high schools to be listed among these outstanding schools.  

“We are extremely proud of our students and staff.”

International Baccalaureate Program test results, Advanced Placement testing and the number of graduating seniors are among the main factors in the Post’s calculations. South has the county’s lone IB program.

Evans said next year, the system will be working to submit the necessary paperwork to ensure all of the county’s high schools are eligible for the Newsweek rankings, as well as the Washington Post.

The Newsweek Challenge uses more factors in determining which schools produce college-ready graduates.

A school’s graduation rate counts for 25 percent of its ranking, as does the number of AP and IB tests taken. Average SAT and ACT scores count for 10 percent, as do AP and IB test scores.

For South, it was at least the fourth year in a row on Newsweek’s list.

“As a community of learners, we continue maintain high expectations, demonstrate a love for learning, and most of all care about kids,” said South Principal Jason Branch.

“The fruits of this labor continue to be demonstrated by the achievement of our students and the recognition for our educational institution.  I am grateful for our staff and their hard work in preparing our young people.”

Over at West, Principal Betty Pope said moving up on the Washington Post list was “definitely an attribute to the exceptional teachers we have on our staff.”

“They, along with our administrators, have done a lot of hard work on improving the Advanced Placement program at our school,” she said. “We have had a schoolwide emphasis on getting more students enroll in AP classes and provided scholarships for those in need so they can take the AP exams.

“I am excited that we have great kids at West that have stepped up the plate and made it happen.”