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24 May 2012

Fulton County Focused on Adding More of Its Schools to the "America's Best Schools" List

Monday, Newsweek magazine highlighted 1,000 high schools across America that are "the most effective in turning out college-ready grads."

Twenty-eight of America's best high schools call Georgia home. Six of those schools are located in Fulton County.

The six Fulton County schools featured on the Newsweek list --Northview, Chattahoochee, Alpharetta, Milton, Riverwood, and Johns Creek-- send an average of 95% of their graduates to college, according to the study.

Fulton County Schools Executive Director of Communications Samantha Evans welcomed the news, saying the school system is "thrilled" the six high schools on the list are preparing students to be college ready.

"It indicates hard work by our students and effective teachers in the classroom," Evans said in a statement.

However, Evans indicated that Fulton County was not interested in resting on its laurels. The goal, according to Evans, is to expand the success found at schools like Alpharetta and Chattahoochee to all schools throughout the district.

"The district’s forthcoming strategic plan includes some aggressive goals," Evans wrote. "By the end of the 2016-17 school year, 90 percent of Fulton students will graduate on time. 85 percent of Fulton’s high school seniors will meet the average SAT score of the 25th percentile of students accepted to Georgia colleges or universities. And an aggressive percentage of students will meet an objective standard for work readiness in the areas of applied math, reading for information and locating information."

Evans also suggested that the Fulton County School System's move to become a charter school system would allow the district to also strategically invite the community to support the aggressive goals detailed above.

At its May 10th meeting, the Georgia Board of Education approved Fulton County's application to become the largest charter school system in the state.

The five-year charter, which begins July 1st, gives the entire Fulton County School System more freedom and flexibility to focus on student achievement and seek greater involvement from the community.