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Flexibility talks end well
State board suggests one change to plan
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Forsyth County News

Other business

Also at Thursday’s work session, the Forsyth County school board:

• Heard from Garry Puetz, director of transportation, who presented a plan that would allow the school system to prepurchase diesel fuel for the 2009-10 school year.

After the meeting, Puetz said the monthly 42,000 gallons the contract would include is the minimum amount of fuel the district would use.

“We’re going to contract for less than what we actually need, but ... about 90 percent of our fuel would be contracted,” he said. “Ours is cheaper generally, based on the fact that we don’t pay some of the taxes the public pays.”

Puetz will present the proposed 10-month contract and pricing to the board during Thursday’s regular meeting.

• Reviewed a recommendation from the state school board that would reword diplomas and transcripts for special education students.

The district is asking for feedback on changing the title to transition diplomas. Deadline to comment is April 17. The board could vote on the matter on April 23.

The measure stems from a recent lawsuit that lead the Cobb County school system to change the title.

More information can be found online at

The Forsyth County school system’s pursuit of flexibility from some state mandates has cleared another hurdle.

School Superintendent Buster Evans met Thursday morning with the state Board of Education and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement to complete negotiations for the district’s Investing in Education Excellence, or IE2, contract.

If approved, the proposal would give the county’s schools more freedom in 14 areas in exchange for increased accountability.

Thursday afternoon, Evans told Board of Education members that negotiations were over and the state board likely will vote on the district’s contract proposal April 2.

“We had an outstanding visit,” Evans said. “We were assured the process that we were going through was — and this was really delightful — a process that they are hoping that they will see other districts move through as they seek IE2 as well.”

The state board supported the school system’s 14 target areas, which include class size, instruction scheduling, student promotion and retention, language assistance and early intervention programs.

Evans said the state board did recommend adding an extra measure of accountability at the high school level. The change adds annual targets for the SAT writing section.

“After talking to the high schools and looking through feedback, we thought the writing would be a good fit,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, district spokeswoman. “This [plan] allows each school to have their individual freedom to meet the customized needs of their students.”

If the plan is accepted, each of the county’s 35 schools would then get to decide which, if any, areas of flexibility to use.

The public can weigh in on the flexibility proposal Monday night.

The hearing, the second of two on the district’s application, is set for 6 p.m. at Otwell Middle School.

Caracciolo has said the local school board and staff will be on hand to answer questions and field input.

E-mail Jennifer Sami at