Also during Thursday's meeting, the Forsyth County school board:
• Named Ann Crow the new board chairwoman, replacing Nancy Roche. Tom Cleveland was voted vice chair.
• Approved goals and functions for fiscal year 2009. Goals include completing the strategic plan, further using Local School Councils and maintaining fiscal responsibility. Functions include monthly reports, formal evaluations and midyear checkpoints.
• Agreed to attend the 2009 Model Schools Conference for K-12 educators and policymakers.
In addition, the board heard the following presentations:
• An overview of the new Forsyth County Schools Career Pathways and Academies. Beginning in the 2009-10 school year, a transportation career academy and an arts and humanities academy, focusing on drama, will be offered at Forsyth Central High and Lambert High will offer a business academy, focusing on marketing and finance. The academies are available to incoming freshmen. Students from other schools may attend, but transportation will not be provided.
• A finance report, which showed 1-cent sales tax collections continue to trail last year. In October 2008, the board received about $2.20 million in sales tax money. A year earlier, collections totaled $2.88 million. The near 21.7 drop over last year is the highest drop since July.
• An update on the R4 Dashboard, which has been modified to include achievement data for each school and to give users the ability to compare achievement to district and state targets. The page on the school system's Web site, currently being used for its second year, was designed to give parents, students and other stakeholders information on progress and achievement.
• A human resources update noting as of October, there were 2,665 certified and 1,544 classified staff members employed. At the beginning of the 2008-09 school year, 304 new, certified staff members were hired. The school system will participate in eight job fairs throughout the year and hold its own fair Feb.27.