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Decision not near on cell towers
Online input to continue
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Forsyth County News
Other business

Also at Thursday's meeting, the Forsyth County Board of Education:

• Approved spending about $1.03 million to turn offices and storage units into classrooms at the Almon C. Hill Center.

Electrical, carpets, whiteboards, computers, a kitchen and 50 new parking spaces are among the changes.

The project will be paid for with money from remaining bond funds.

The contract went to Lindsay, Pope, Brayfield & Associates, which previously handled design work at the facility, as well as several other local schools.

• Heard a legislative update from Superintendent Buster Evans on some bills that could impact education if they were to become law.

-- Jennifer Sami 
It will be at least several weeks before Forsyth County's school board decides whether to allow T-Mobile to put cell towers on the campuses of three local schools.

About 15 people attended the final community meeting on the plan Thursday.

The session, like the two before it, drew mostly skeptical responses over health concerns.

Though feedback during the three meetings was mostly negative toward proposal, online comments have been largely positive, officials said.

Board Chairwoman Ann Crow said she was surprised the meetings drew fewer than 50 people.

“We’re going to continue to do due dilligence and research on our own as well and evaluate all the concerns people have given us before we make a decision,” she said. “There is absolutely no time table for this.”

The towers would be placed at Vickery Creek and Riverwatch middle schools and the future Kelly Mill Elementary.

The 30-year proposed leases would generate $150,000 every five years for the school district.

Up to three additional cell phone companies could use the towers at a cost of $150 per month apiece.

Online feedback is being accepted on the system’s Web site,

In other developments Thursday night, the board heard from Superintendent Buster Evans on the state's investigation into alleged cheating on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement released the results of its analysis Wednesday.

While some school districts in the state drew severe concern, all of Forsyth’s schools were cleared.

The analysis flagged classrooms where the number of wrong-to-right answer changes proved to be three standard deviations or more above the state average. But all schools with less than 6 percent of classes flagged were cleared.

Sharon Elementary School had the highest rate in Forsyth, with 3 percent of classes flagged, Evans said.

Mashburn, Settles Bridge, Shiloh Point and Vickery Creek elementary schools each had between 1 and 2 percent flagged.

Big Creek, Chattahoochee, Chestatee, Daves Creek and Johns Creek elementary schools all had less than 1 percent, he said.

The remaining schools showed no flags.

“I was extremely pleased of our testing department and our academics and accountability department to see that all of our schools were cleared,” Evans said.

“Every school in our district was at the very lowest level in terms of potential for concern, and I think that reflects good training and good practice throughout our district."