Two Forsyth County high schools have answered the local challenge.
South Forsyth and Forsyth Central were honored Monday as part of the SAT 2400 Challenge, a program designed to raise local test scores on the SAT and ACT.
With an average SAT score of 1623, South was honored Monday with the SAT 2400 Challenge highest local score honor.
Having raised its average score from 1503 to 1545, Central received the SAT 2400 Greatest Gains award.
Systemwide, all of the district's high schools fared better than the state average on the SAT for the second year in a row.
With a systemwide average score of 1571, students outperformed the state average of 1,442 for public schools and 1,453 for all Georgia schools. A perfect score is 2,400.
The statewide average for public, private and home-schooled students dropped seven points from last year. The state’s average scores fell below the national average of 1,497 for public school students.
The SAT is an aptitude test that measures a student's verbal and math abilities. The ACT measures what a student has learned from high school classes. Both are used as entrance exams for many colleges and universities.
The 2400 Challenge is a partnership between the school system and the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce,
High-achieving students from Central and South gathered Monday to receive a trophy and praise from Superintendent Buster Evans, local school board members and leaders involved in the challenge.
“This happened first and foremost because you recognized the importance of education,” Evans said.
Central Principal Rudy Hampton said the staff was “extremely pleased with this tremendous academic achievement.”
“These SAT scores are a testament to the hard work of our student body and teaching staff," he said. "We are working hard to continually improve and do what is right for all students.”
South students improved their results by one point over last year. But with a 1623 average, the school is about 64 points ahead of West Forsyth High, which at 1559 was the next highest scoring local school.
“We are humbled to again have the highest SAT scores in the district,” said South Principal Jason Branch. “We credit this accomplishment to our dedicated teachers and staff that are dedicated to preparing students for their post-secondary needs.
"The work of our students continues to reach higher levels of excellence and we couldn’t be prouder.”
Tracy Moon, chamber chairman and board member of the challenge, told students Monday that they are “our future leaders.”
“Come back to Forsyth County,” he said after encouraging students at Central and South to pursue higher learning. “We need individuals like yourselves to start businesses and expand businesses here.”
North Forsyth's average SAT score was 1515. The county's fifth high school, Lambert, did not have a senior class last school year.
Elizabeth Burlingame of the FCN regional staff contributed to this report.