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Local school councils submit annual reports

FORSYTH COUNTY -- Summer is a time when officials with the school system try to prepare for the imminent fall and return of students, and representatives for each school provide valuable input to their school-level and system-wide decision making.

Local School Councils submitted their annual reports to the Forsyth County Board of Education at its monthly meeting on June 16, with recommendations ranging from one-time projects to finding solutions to overcrowding.

Forsyth County Schools has an active LSC in every school that has been open for more than a year. Councils are made up of at least seven members, including the principal, at least two certified teachers elected by teachers, parents – they make up the majority of the group, with at least two being businesspeople – and other members when applicable.

Fonda Harrison, associate superintendent of teaching and learning for the district, said some of the most common topics were CCRPI scores, itslearning, the Bring Your Own Technology initiative and online testing.

“Of course, the calendar is always a big topic of discussion,” she said.

All LSCs were required to meet a minimum of four times.

Elementary school LSCs gave recommendations including connecting to a Partner in Education to install buddy benches at Chattahoochee Elementary, inspecting the air conditioning at Chestatee Elementary, relieving burdened student-to-teacher ratios at Coal Mountain Elementary, adding stairs in the parking lot at Cumming Elementary and finding ways to add parking at Johns Creek Elementary.

Kelly Mill Elementary asked about installing a traffic light or having a police officer each morning at the intersection of Kelly Mill and Chamblee Gap roads, while Matt Elementary’s LSCs said it is moving forward with improvement projects.

Settles Bridge Elementary’s LSC said it is concerned about overcrowding from new development in the area and that members continue to be concerned with the school’s early start in the year.

Sharon Elementary recommended bringing back foreign language instruction to the elementary level.

Shiloh Point Elementary’s LSC said it wants more nurses in the larger schools, and Silver City Elementary noted a parking burden due to increased enrollment.

Riverwatch Middle was the only middle school to make a recommendation. The LSC asked to add connections classes to support high school courses and to educate parents about high school pathways.

Graduation locations showed up in two high school recommendations, with Forsyth Central wanting to keep its ceremonies at the Cumming Fairgrounds and West Forsyth High wanting to consider the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta instead of the Infinite Energy Arena.

Lambert High School asked the board to evaluate the impact of testing demands on students and for professional development to include teacher work time.

Harrison said the board will vote in July on their responses to these recommendations from each LSC.