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23.07.2018 13:41 Age: 336 days
Category: Blog

Introducing the Alliance Academy & Junior Achievement Discovery Center of North Georgia

Forsyth County is welcoming two exciting additions for middle and high school students! The Alliance Academy of Innovation Alternative High School will be open alongside the new Junior Achievement Center. The Academy will offer a unique experience for Forsyth County students.

The new alternative high school boasts a robust curriculum and takes a different approach to achieving success. The Alliance Academy of Innovation, considered a school of choice similar to a magnet school, is an alternative high school that will focus on building career and financial skills. It serves students in grades 9-12, though it will open its doors exclusively for ninth and tenth grades in the first year to ensure success.

Funded in part through the Forsyth County Public Facilities Authority, the Academy is Forsyth County Schools' seventh high school.  The facility is located on approximately 23 acres in the City of Cumming on Lanier 400 Parkway. The Academy is a true example of public/private partnership and has been a collaborative project between business, industry, post-secondary and community partners from its inception.  It is a true alliance of Forsyth County stakeholders.

What makes this school so unique is the choice of curriculum and pacing for enrollment. Taking a more modern approach on learning, the school plans to unveil five main themes of study: Aerospace and Logistics, Criminal Justice and Law, Healthcare and First Responders, Hospitality and Design, and Mechatronics and Energy.

Students will be able to more accurately control their futures with a curriculum that caters to both job placement and exceeding Georgia’s high school graduation requirements. Brandi Cannizzaro, the principal of the alternative high school, believes these areas of study will give students the direction they need to find success no matter the path they choose.

“These are high-demand, high-growth career pathways, which can lead either to a four-year college or directly into employment after graduation,” commented Cannizzaro.

The school will work with a variety of career and technical student organizations, including TSA and DECA. It will also offer programs like dual enrollment, honors membership and advanced placement classes to further assist with student goals.

The main goal of the school is to ensure that all students are ready for college with a more general curriculum, while also giving opportunities to students that want to enter straight into the job force. A special curriculum was developed to achieve these goals, and it was loosely modeled after the Ford Next Generation Learning Initiative. 

Currently, there is a waitlist for students wanting to attend the academy. The Academy plans to be at full capacity by 2020 with a projected population total of 1,200 students.

The facility will feature state-of-the-art equipment including: flight simulators, a wind tunnel, an ambulance simulator and a courtroom. Technology available at the Academy will include labs specifically designed for cybersecurity, virtual reality and graphic design. 

The school shares space on a beautiful 23 acre property with another innovative entity, the Mike and Lynn Cottrell Junior Achievement Discovery Center. This will be the third JA Discovery Center in Georgia and will house the JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. These are innovative and immersive experiences for students that allow them to get familiar with different industries, test out actual careers and build financial knowledge.

This facility will serve between 15,000 - 17,000 people in the North Georgia area. BizTown and Financial Park will serve as immersive training simulations alongside peers and professionals. Students will learn modern financial, managerial and entrepreneurial skills to ensure future success in any industry. Delta Air Lines and Publix Super Markets are among the businesses who will have storefronts in the new facility.

The official grand opening for this exciting new facility took place on July 21st. To learn more about Forsyth County’s educational options visit and