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Welcome from Forsyth County News Welcome to the 2016-17 State of the Schools magazine. As citizens of Forsyth County, we recognize the impact our world-class public school system has on our quality of life and on our future generations. Forsyth County Schools is helping lead our community forward, and we at the Vince Johnson, Publisher Forsyth County News are Forsyth County News proud partners of our school system across a variety of community-engaging platforms. With Forsyth’s largest local media audience both in print and online, the Forsyth County News produces an array of school-related news, from our new Scholastic Student Spotlight series to covering brand new schools and highlighting what’s happening throughout the system on Forsyth’s premier video show, Studio Forsyth, on We’ve also partnered with FCS to produce welcome videos for all 37 public schools in Forsyth County, which are now posted on school websites, and you can find student athletes featured across FCN platforms in THE GRIND, an awardwinning weekly print and video series from Forsyth Sports. It’s been a banner year for Forsyth County Schools, and it has been for the Forsyth County News staff as well. We were the recent recipient of the 2016 MegaInnovation Award for newspapers, a national award at our industry’s largest conference with finalists including the parent companies of the Dallas Morning News and The Oklahoman, all judged by the Harvard Business School’s Innovator-in-Residence.

4990 Leland Drive Cumming, GA 30041


Much like our school system, we at the FCN are committed to leading our industry forward across the nation, and we certainly can’t do it without the support of the amazing community that resides in Forsyth County. We charge forward – with you, beside you, behind you, Forsyth County – boldly creating our future together.

State of Schools 2016-2017

Vince Johnson, Publisher 3

FORSYTH COUNTY SCHOOLS’ CENTRAL OFFICE The Superintendent’s Cabinet is responsible for assisting the superintendent in addressing the school board’s major system priorities. The cabinet provides input to the superintendent on major operational, programmatic and fiscal issues that affect the school system.

To contact a cabinet member, call 770.887.2461 or email as listed below: Jeff Bearden, Superintendent Sandi Abbott, Executive Secretary for the Superintendent and Board of Education Valerie Bowers, Director of Food and Nutrition Services Marty Bray, Chief Technology and Information Officer Jennifer Caracciolo, Director of Public Information and Communications Rick Gunn, Chief Financial Officer Fonda Harrison, Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Bill McKnight, Chief Facilities Officer Joey Pirkle, Deputy Superintendent of Schools Garry Puetz, Director of Transportation Cindy Salloum, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Legal Services Todd Shirley, Director of School Safety and Student Discipline Debbie Smith, Director of Student Support Services Sarah Taylor, Director of Special Education

About this publication

The 2016-17 State of the Schools is produced by the Forsyth County School’s Public Information and Communication Department. For information, contact

Copyright 2016, Forsyth County Schools 4

Inside the 2016-17 State of Schools Welcome from Forsyth County News������� 3 Welcome from Forsyth County Schools���� 6 Strategic Planning����������������������������� 8 Food and Nutrition������������������������11-12 School Safety���������������������������������� 14 Human Resources���������������������������� 16 FCS Principals����������������������������18-19 Pre-K and Special Education��������������� 20 Project LIFE������������������������������������ 24 Board of Education��������������������������� 26 Career Path������������������������������������ 28 FCS Finances���������������������������������� 29 FCS Map��������������������������������������� 31 New Schools�������������������������������32-33 Become A Mentor!���������������������������� 34 Retirees���������������������������������������� 36 Teachers of the Year������������������������� 38 Partners In Education Opportunities������� 41 Highlights from 2015-2016���������������� 42 School Closings and Delays���������������� 44 Online Learning Plan for School Closings� 45 Purposity��������������������������������������� 47 GA Milestones��������������������������������� 47 School Calendar������������������������������ 50 Stay connected

Mail: 1120 Dahlonega Highway Cumming, Georgia 30040. Telephone: 770-887-2461 Website: Sign up to receive newsletters from FCS via email! Join at www.forsyth.k12. Follow us: FOR A LIST OF SCHOOL FACEBOOK AND TWITTER PAGES,

visit State of Schools 2016-2017

About Forsyth County Schools

FCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or gender in employment decisions or educational programs and activities, including athletic programs. The accuracy of the content within this publication is subject to change prior to dissemination.

Welcome from Forsyth County Schools

included building Brandywine ES and DeSana MS, and constructing large additions at Forsyth Central HS, Lambert HS, North Forsyth HS, South Forsyth HS, South Forsyth MS, and Riverwatch MS. The two new schools, the middle schools, and Lambert HS will be complete this August. The first phase of work for the other schools will also be finished this fall, to be followed by another year’s worth of work on their campuses before all the projects are complete.

West Forsyth HS will have construction on their campus this year, and construction work at Liberty MS, Little Mill MS, North Forsyth MS, Otwell MS, Piney Grove MS and Vickery Creek MS will be complete by August of 2017. Construction has begun on the sixth traditional high school, Denmark, named after one of the first female physicians in Georgia, Dr. Leila Denmark, and on a new college and career high school, the Alliance Academy for Innovation is Forsyth County Schools (FCS) is pleased to partner in the works. Both schools are projected to open the with The Forsyth County News to provide parents, fall of 2018, and the attendance lines for Denmark newcomers, school district staff, and local businesses will not be determined until the fall of 2017. the 2016-17 State of the Schools magazine. This Monthly construction updates and progress photos back-to-school magazine features the information are posted at you need to know for a successful school start and also showcases the very best from local businesses. In addition to the construction, this fall will be very We know that an exceptional public school district is a large factor in the high quality of life that we enjoy in Cumming-Forsyth County. 2015-16 was an outstanding year for FCS. District highlights include: • Highest CCRPI score in Georgia • Highest ACT score in Georgia • Highest SAT math score in Georgia • Highest Financial Efficiency Star Rating in Georgia • Highest graduation rate in metro-Atlanta (and in history of FCS) • Highest SAT score in metro-Atlanta • Lowest per pupil cost in metro-Atlanta These accomplishments are the result of FCS having phenomenal teachers and support staff, hardworking students, involved parents, and supportive community business partners.

busy for the district. FCS will announce the first grants from the Forsyth County Education Foundation, which is lead by a governing committee of five business and community leaders. The district will also be collecting input from stakeholders to construct a new Strategic Plan for 2017-2020 and preparing for national accreditation in February. Additionally, the Forsyth County Board of Education has placed a 1% Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) renewal on the November 8, 2016 ballot to make payments on voter approved bonds and for funding future capital projects. Yes, in FCS we are making it happen! We are excited for the opportunities that are before us, and look forward to working collaboratively to serve all in Forsyth County.

This fall, the district is opening the first phase of capital improvement projects funded by the 2014 bond referendum. Major construction projects 6

State of Schools 2016-2017

Jeff Bearden, Superintendent Forsyth County Schools

Forsyth County Schools is proud to be one of the top districts in Georgia and the United States. This success has been accomplished through dedication to our mission and a commitment to continuous improvement (www. through the cooperative efforts of all stakeholders. The district’s 20132016 Strategic Plan ( supports achieving the vision. With clear goals and outcomes, the plan describes priorities and provides a strong Path to Greatness.



Who We Serve

Forsyth County Schools’ primary customer is the individual student. The district works collaboratively with other customers, such as staff, parents, citizens and businesses, to support the primary customer.

The Learner Profile and Data Dashboard

Core Values

Our Vision:

Quality Learning and Superior Performance for All

Our Mission:

The mission of Forsyth County Schools is to prepare and inspire all students to contribute and excel.


• Trust among all stakeholders is vital. • Expectations influence accomplishments because everyone has the capacity to learn. • A school-community partnership is essential. • Change creates opportunity. • High-performing leadership makes visions reality.

The Learner Profile describes the traits and attributes of students attending and graduating from a Forsyth County school. With these academic skills and personal characteristics, Forsyth County Schools’ students are college and career ready. As part of the district’s Continuous Improvement process, the Learner Profile is reviewed and updated annually. To view the 2016-17 Learner Profile visit The district’s progress is reported annually in the Georgia Department of Education’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) ( CCRPI) and FCS’s Data Dashboard (http://fcsdashboard. FCS looks forward to working with students, parents, staff and community members to update the Strategic Plan in the fall of 2016 for implementation during 2017 to coincide with the AdvancED Accreditation visit in February of 2017.

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School Program, Church, Park & Rec team or other approved Non-Profit program. As one of the areas top real estate teams, John Heath & “Your Results Team” believe in investing in our community, our children and our schools with both our time and our money. Your Results Team has already given over $90,000 to area schools and youth mentoring programs through sponsorships, donations and our unique referral rewards program. Please help us reach our goal of $100,000 by 2017.

Call John at (678) 908-7002 Email to Name of person moving:____________________________ Contact Info:_____________________________________ Please make $1,000 donation to: Organization Name________________________________ Program Name___________________________________ Donation made in the name of:_______________________ *Donation made upon closing of referred client’s property.

*Don Hendricks Partners In Education Award Recipient* John Heath & “Your Results Team” will donate $1,000 to the School, Church, Park & Rec or other approved Non-Profit of your choice upon closing ~OR~ If you are the one moving, you can choose to have $500 donated to the program of your choice and we will Rebate the other $500 back to you!


State of Schools 2016-2017

UNITED FUTBOL ACADEMY We are a premier soccer club serving the Forsyth community

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NUTRITION LEARNING ABOUT BREAKFAST AND LUNCH IN FORSYTH COUNTY It’s the first day of school and your child is headed to school, eager to start a new year and make new friends. Soon the lunch bell will ring and they will be headed to the cafeteria. But once they get in line does your child know all the choices they can make to get a complete meal? Let’s take a look at the incredible, nutritional value offered in Forsyth County school cafeterias. Knowing the parts of the school meal and the requirements of a complete meal may seem like a challenge these days. But it’s really quite simple and very healthy. A student’s meal consists of five parts that we call components:

Meat or meat alternate - protein-rich foods Grain - 100% whole grain-rich Fruit or juice - in a variety of forms (Georgia Grown whenever possible)

Vegetable - a wide variety including nutrientAges 2 & Up!

packed dark green and red/orange (Georgia Grown whenever possible)

Milk - 1%, skim or fat-free flavored


Choices are important to all of us, even children and especially when selecting what we want to eat. Students who wish to select a complete meal may have:

1 Entree

Meat/meat alternative & grain

Up to

3 Fruit or Vegetable

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But some days a student may want to choose a lighter meal. This is known as Offer Versus Serve or OVS. On those days students may select any three components as long as one component is a fruit or a vegetable side. The two goals of OVS are to permit students to choose the foods they want to eat and to reduce food waste. A student is not required to take milk; however, every meal must include a fruit or a vegetable side. So, what does a complete meal cost? School meals are a great value for all the food, variety and selections that are available. And to help families take advantage

State of Schools 2016-2017



Elementary.................................$2.50 Middle .......................................$2.60 High School...............................$2.60 High School Grill......................$3.60 Employee..........$3.00 (HS Grill $4.00) Guest.................$3.50 (HS Grill $4.50) Reduced (all grade levels) ...........$0.40


2016-17 Meal Prices

of these affordable meals, the meal prices are the same as last year. We offer a healthy breakfast and lunch in all schools each day.

Elementary.................................$1.40 Middle .......................................$1.50 High School...............................$1.60 Employee...................................$2.00 Guest..........................................$2.25 Reduced (all grade levels) ...........$0.30

Please note that carefully selected snack-type food items, beverages and bottle water, all of which comply with the healthy nutrition standards set for foods available in the school setting under the USDA Smart Snack guidelines are available and sold in addition to the cost of a complete meal. Funding a meal account can be handled in several ways, making it easy and convenient to provide your child with healthy school meals. We accept cash or check at the register every day. Checks can be divided among siblings attending the same school. Simply include student ID numbers and the amounts to post to each account on the check. If you’d rather handle your transactions on-line, log on to to set up an account. You will need your student’s ID number to complete the registration process. Please contact the school if you do not know the ID number. Already registered? Your student’s account from last year is still available and any balance on the account at the end of May 2016 will be available for use at the beginning of school this August.

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At no cost, MyPaymentsPlus allows families to monitor account balances as well as see purchases made to the account. Manage your account on-the-go by downloading the free mobile app. MyPaymentsPlus charges a small fee to make on-line payments to the meal account using a check, credit card, or debit card. Log on to for further information about this payment method. Applications to receive no cost or reduced priced meals are available at the Hill Center registration office, through the school cafeteria manager or front office, or you can apply on-line at https://schoolmealapp.forsyth. Students receiving meal benefits can enjoy the benefit of BOTH breakfast and lunch every day. All information is held in the strictest confidence. 12

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State of Schools 2016-2017

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SCHOOL SAFETY Forsyth County Schools’ Safety Department has a strong partnership with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office to offer programs to assist Forsyth County families and support a safe community: Campus Crime Stoppers provides an avenue for students to submit anonymous tips about non-urgent illegal activities such as unsolved cases, vandalism, theft, the sale and distribution of drugs, possession of weapons or information about crimes that are being planned on their schools’ campus.

ANONYMOUS TIPS CAN BE SUBMITTED BY: • WEB • TEXT to CRIMES (274637), Start message with FCSS • CALL 770.205.4625 The C.H.A.M.P.S. program, which stands for Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety, is governed by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association and taught by local, trained deputies in 5th grade classes. C.H.A.M.P.S. instructors work with educators for twelve

weeks on drug and alcohol awareness, avoiding violence and bullying, how to stay safe during recreational activities and choosing safe alternatives. The teen P.R.I.D.E., Parents Reducing Injury and Driver Error, program was created by the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute (GTIPI) to reduce the high number of crashes, injuries and fatalities involving teen drivers in the state of Georgia.  This program addresses driver’s attitude, knowledge and behavior, rather than technical hands-on driver skills.  It complements driver’s education and training; it is not a replacement for these courses. The P.R.I.D.E program offers a FREE, two-hour course designed to help parents and their future teen drivers on learner’s permits, ages 14-16, learn what they need to do during the 40 hours of supervised practice driving time. TIP is a seven week program developed to intercept Forsyth County teens by stopping destructive behaviors and leading them to a drug free and successful life. The program includes information on the Juvenile Justice System, the 911 Amnesty Law, prescription/illegal drugs, and a visit to the Forsyth County Jail and McDonald and Son Funeral Home.

OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING! Do you want to be part of a dynamic, team-oriented organization? Are you ready to make a meaningful contribution to our children and the community?

Drive a School Bus for Forsyth County Schools Full-time Benefits, Excellent Wages, Part-time Work!

We are currently scheduling training classes for successful applicants who are interested in becoming one of our school bus drivers.

Positions are currently available! APPLICATIONS MAY BE ENTERED ONLINE at To learn more about this great opportunity call Sylvia at 770-888-1234 ext 220126 14

State of Schools 2016-2017

HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT Forsyth County Schools’ Human Resources Department has implemented a new online application system, AppliTrack. The district has accepted online applications since 2008, but AppliTrack simplifies the process, making it much easier for candidates to apply and FCS administrators to review applications. With the new system, FCS has received over 2,100 new applicants since February, which averages to over 170 new applications each week. Candidates can log in at any time to review, update, and attach documentation to their application. They may also apply for specific vacancies within the district or to a general applicant pool. Over the coming year, FCS will utilize AppliTrack for internal applications for in-system talent placement and to streamline the process for new district employees. If you are interesting in joining the largest employer in Forsyth County, visit


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State of Schools 2016-2017

FORSYTH COUNTY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS Forsyth County Schools ended the 2015-16 school year with 44,675 students, which was a 1,988 student increase from the previous year. The district is projected to grow to over 46,000 students for 2016-17. Last year FCS was the seventh largest of 181 school districts in Georgia.


21 10 Middle Schools High Schools 5 Traditional High School 1 Virtual Elementary Schools

Additionally, FCS has two programs under the Academies of Creative Education (A.C.E.), Forsyth Academy (9-12) and Gateway Academy (6-12 alternative), to support students enrolled at traditional schools. Two new schools, Brandywine ES and DeSana MS, are opening this August. Denmark HS and the Alliance Academy for Innovation are projected to open in August 2018, with attendance lines for Denmark scheduled to be approved in late 2017. Seven schools have new principals this year. They include Big Creek ES, Cumming ES, Midway ES, Settles Bridge ES, Lakeside MS, North Forsyth MS, and Piney Grove MS.

Kelly Mill Elementary

Mr. Ron McAllister

Mashburn Elementary Ms. Tracey Smith

Matt Elementary

Ms. Charlley Stalder

Midway Elementary

Ms. Jan Munroe Photographed left to right, beginning with the front row: Lee Anne Rice, Tracey Smith, Lynne Castleberry, Alyssa Degliumberto, Jan Munroe, Sarah Von Esh, Polly Tennies, Kimberly Davis, Laura Webb, Charlley Stalder, Eileen Nix, Paige Andrews, Barbara Vella, Todd Smith, Derrick Hershey, Amy Barlett, Kathy Braswell, June Tribble, Kristan Riedinger, Eric Ashton, Ron McAllister (not photographed)

Sawnee Elementary

Elementary Schools

Ms. Sarah Von Esh

Big Creek Elementary Ms. Laura Webb

Brandywine Elementary Mr. Todd Smith

Brookwood Elementary Ms. Kathie Braswell

Chattahoochee Elementary Ms. Barbara Vella

Chestatee Elementary

Ms. Polly Tennies


Coal Mountain Elementary Ms. Kimberly Davis

Cumming Elementary Ms. Lee Anne Rice

Daves Creek Elementary Mr. Eric Ashton

Haw Creek Elementary Ms. June Tribble

Johns Creek Elementary

Ms. Alyssa Degliumberto

Dr. Eileen Nix

Settles Bridge Elementary

Sharon Elementary

Ms. Amy Bartlett

Shiloh Point Elementary Mr. Derrick Hershey

Silver City Elementary

Ms. Paige Andrews

Vickery Creek Elementary Ms. Kristan Riedinger

Whitlow Elementary

Dr. Lynne Castleberry State of Schools 2016-2017

Photographed left to right, beginning with the front row: Kathy Carpenter, Todd McClelland, Steve Miller, Drew Hayes, Terri North, Pam Pajerski, Connie McCrary, Sandy Tinsley, Cheryl Riddle, Kim Head

Middle Schools

North Forsyth Middle

DeSana Middle

Ms. Terri North

Lakeside Middle

Ms. Kim Head

Liberty Middle

Ms. Cheryl Riddle

Little Mill Middle

Ms. Connie McCrary

Mr. Todd McClelland

Otwell Middle

Mr. Steve Miller

Piney Grove Middle

Ms. Pam Pajerski

Riverwatch Middle

Ms. Kathy Carpenter

South Forsyth Middle Ms. Sandy Tinsley

Lambert High

Dr. Gary Davison

North Forsyth High Mr. Jeff Cheney

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• Highly trained employees

West Forsyth High Ms. Heather Gordy

Photographed left to right, beginning with the front row: Heather Gordy, Betty Pope, Laura Wilson, Gary Davison, Mitch Young, Jeff Cheney, Rudy Hampton, Susan Atkins (not photographed)

• Over 25 years of experience • Locally owned and operated

South Forsyth High Ms. Laura Wilson

High Schools

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State of Schools 2016-2017

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Pre-K & Special Education

Forsyth County Schools’ Preschool Special Education Office is responsible for locating, identifying, and evaluating any children within the district with known or suspected disabilities to determine whether a need for special education and related services exists. Research continues to prove that early intervention for children has a direct and lasting correlation on improved cognitive functioning, social and behavioral functioning and self regulatory skills, not only leading into that child’s early school skills, but also creating a positive impact on later high school graduation rates and post-secondary programming. The Forsyth County Child Find program will offer a series of four parent trainings in 2016-17, focusing on communication skills at home, real-life behavior strategies, kindergarten expectations and preparation, and activities for summer learning. In addition to parent trainings, the district offers direct support and training to child care facilities. FCS also offers a multi-tiered level of intervention strategies, ranging from personnel to support classroom observations and direct strategies for students, to monthly developmental screenings, to comprehensive, developmental evaluations. Referrals to the Child Find team can be made by parents, pediatricians and teachers for any child with suspected delays with regard to their cognitive development, fine or gross motor skills, social or adaptive functioning, or with their overall language acquisition or usage. The preschool special education program offers a wide range of service delivery options, based on student needs and with consideration of that child’s least restrictive environment. For students requiring more specialized instruction, the district has twenty six special needs preschool classrooms, located in twelve elementary schools. For information visit


State of Schools 2016-2017

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The Cumming Playhouse proudly presents... Smoke On The Mountain September 22 - October 16, 2016 Thurs, Fri, Sat 8:00pm & Sun 3:00pm Matinee Smoke on the Mountain tells the story of a Saturday Night Gospel Sing at a country church in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains in 1938. The show features two dozen rousing bluegrass songs played and sung by the Sanders Family, a traveling group making its return to performing after a five-year hiatus. Pastor Oglethorpe, the young and enthusiastic minister of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, has enlisted the Sanders Family in his efforts to bring his tiny congregation into “the modern world.” Between songs, each family member “witnesses” — telling a story about an important event in their life. Though they try to appear perfect in the eyes of a congregation who wants to be inspired by their songs, one thing after another goes awry and they reveal their true — and hilariously imperfect — natures. By the evening’s end, the Sanders Family have endeared themselves to us by revealing their weaknesses and allowing us to share in their triumphs. So mark your calendars – “Smoke on the Mountain” is headed back your way!


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July 21-August 14, 2016 Thurs, Fri, Sat 8:00pm & Sun 3:00pm Matinee

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For a complete listing of shows, visit

People’s Choice Award Winner for 2015 & 2016

PROJECT LIFE Interns may train at multiple locations over their Project LIFE career gaining job skills in inventory and stocking, mail room and delivery, custodial, maintenance, office/ clerical work, manufacturing, production, food industry and hospitality. As interns finish out their last semester at Project LIFE, attempts are made to narrow down the intern’s interests and match them with his/her strengths. This part of the process is also supported by Vocational Rehabilitation as they continue thought the job search assistance. Given that the interns have gained the important soft skills expected for all employees (but is the number one complaint among business management that they cannot find employees with good work ethics), Vocational Rehabilitation feels that Project LIFE makes their job a little easier when moving to the job placement phase of their service. They can confidently speak on the intern’s behalf knowing that he/she will make an excellent employee.

Project LIFE is a job training program for students ages 19-22 with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. A classroom of students might be housed within the business. Or a class may train at the business on a weekly basis but housed elsewhere. There are currently three Project LIFE classrooms in Forsyth County Schools: Siemens Industry, Siemens Energy and Project LIFE at FCS’s Hill Center. Partnering businesses that do not have a class based on-site include National Cash Register (NCR), and the Forsyth County Board of Education/ Professional Development Center and Transportation Center. Northside-Forsyth Hospital is a new full time site for 2016-17 to support the new Project LIFE class based at one of the schools.

The businesses that partner with Project LIFE state that not only do they see growth in the interns, but they also see growth in the overall team work among its employees, work quality and value, productivity and company moral. Over the last nine years, Project Life has graduated 40 students with a success rate of 100% competetive or supported employment. To learn more visit

Project LIFE’s success rate is accredited to a variety of factors: 1) the collaboration and commitment between the business and the school system, 2) seamless supports provided by Vocational Rehabilitation from the when a student enters high school, participates in Project LIFE and then moves to the world of work, 3) teachers who challenge their students utilizing industry expectations and standards while emphasizing a strong work ethic and building self-determination skills 4) and businesses that provide job training opportunities where interns are immersed in real world work experience and daily employee interactions. Interns gain a wealth of job and vocational skills that can be transferred to other areas of employment. Soft skills such as time management, communicating appropriately with one’s coworkers or boss, accountability for personal and work space, problem solving, receiving constructive guidance/criticism, and hygiene are just a few of the skills one is expected to master prior to graduation. 24

State of Schools 2016-2017

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BOARD OF EDUCATION The Forsyth County Board of Education consists of five members who are elected by district to staggered, four-year terms. The primary role of the board is the legislation of the school system policies, which are executed under the direction of the school superintendent. Meetings of the board are held monthly, with agendas and meeting minutes available for review at www.forsyth. Video broadcasts of the meetings are available at the Friday after each meeting and also on TV Forsyth, Comcast Channel 23. 2016 monthly meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. on the following Thursdays: August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17 and December 15. Meetings are open to the public and held at 1120 Dahlonega Highway, Cumming. 26

Communicate with your Board of Education at the email addresses listed below each board member’s name on the map or by mail to Board of Education, Forsyth County Schools, 1120 Dahlonega Highway, Cumming, GA 30040. Highlights of Board of Education work sessions and regular meetings are communicated to the public in Board Briefs, which is sent by email the Friday after each regular meeting. To subscribe visit

State of Schools 2016-2017

410 Peachtree Parkway, Cumming, GA 30041

CAREER PATH YOUR CHANCE TO ASSIST OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS! Due to the growth of career education and community partnerships in Forsyth County, Forsyth County Schools will have three career development coordinators this school year. These three educators will work with the five high schools on work-based learning, youth apprenticeship, and job shadowing opportunities for students, as well as programs such as the Student Job Board and Mock Interviews. These types of structured experiences allow students to connect career goals and career pathways with a productive work environment.

Career Development Coordinators:

• Emily Henderson: Forsyth Central HS and Lambert HS • Debra Moore: South Forsyth HS and North Forsyth HS • Ann Williams: West Forsyth HS If you or your business is interested in becoming a Career Path Partner, visit



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F 156 foot water slide F Lazy River F Children’s Splash Play Area Concession Stand is Open!

August 6th - September 4th Sat & Sun only: Sat: Two sessions 10:00am-2:00pm/2:30pm-6:30pm Sun: One session 1:00pm-6:00pm September 5th (Labor Day) One session 1:00pm-6:00pm Labor Day: Last day of the season

201 Aquatic Circle, Cumming, GA 30040 770-781-1781 •


Forsyth County Schools provides a free student job board to list opportunities specifically available to high school students in the surrounding area. The job posting services are available to local employers, business, industry, government, and non-profit organizations for assistance in seeking qualified employees or interns. To place a listing as an employer or search jobs available as a student, visit The FCS Job Posting Board is a posting service and makes no particular recommendations regarding employers or students applying for jobs.

All high school students enrolled in a third-year career pathway course or work-based learning participate in organizational ethics and soft skills training. Through a sequence of activities during the school year, students spend time developing personal philosophies around employability standards and the job-search process, with the Mock Interview Week as the culminating activity. Over 2,000 students participated in this experience last year.

Below are the dates for each school: Lambert HS: March 6-10 North Forsyth HS: March 13-17 Forsyth Central HS: March 13-17 South Forsyth HS: March 20 - 24 West Forsyth HS: March 27-31 Please sign up to serve as a volunteer interviewer


State of Schools 2016-2017

FORSYTH COUNTY SCHOOLS FINANCES With the opening of the new schools and additional classrooms at existing schools, and also to accommodate projected student growth for the new school year, Forsyth County Schools’ 2016-17 budget is close to $370 million. The district’s budget income is 47.73% from local funds and 52.27% from state and federal funds, with 73% of expenses tied to instruction. Also included in the budget are a 3% increase for staff and a step increase for eligible employees. As the largest employer in the county with over 4,700 staff members, Forsyth County Schools is adding 225 new positions to support the new schools and growth. This budget is built maintaining the current millage rate, which is the lowest in metro-Atlanta. The district is the 7th largest in the state, and Forsyth County Schools’ cost per pupil is the lowest in metroAtlanta and also among large districts.




1 Gwinnett County


2 Cobb County


3 DeKalb County


4 Fulton County


5 Clayton County


6 Altanta Public Schools


7 Forsyth County


8 Henry County


9 Cherokee County


10 Chatham County


11 Muscogee County


12 Richmond County


Sawnee Mountain Urgent Care 319 Canton Rd. • Cumming, GA

Urgent Care • Sports Physicals • Family Practice


Se Habla Español

DR. Malcom Dulock

FREE Sports Physical or $50 off First Visit Fisico de deportes Gratis o $50 de descuento en la primera visita Coupon Code: SOS2016 319 Canton Hwy. Cumming, GA 30040 678-456-8200

*Offer valid with coupon only. Terms & conditions apply. * Oferta válida sÓlo con cupÔn. Los términos y condiciones.

Most Insurance Accepted

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Urgent Care 8am - 6pm 8am - 6pm 9am - 4pm 9am - 5pm 8am - 6pm 9am - 4pm 9am - 4pm

Family Practice 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm Closed 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm Closed Closed

Open 7 Days a Week!

State of Schools 2016-2017


Cumming Dental Associates 1200 Bald Ridge Marina Rd., Ste. 200 (Located at Exit 15 across from Costco)

Cumming, Georgia 30041


NEW PATIENTS WELCOME EMERGENCY CARE Dr. Kevin Short Dr. Susan Kramer Dr. Susan Swain Dr. Teresa Esker Dr. Blake Upshaw Dr. Alexandra McTier Dr. Javid Yavari (Orthodontist)


Take-Home Teeth Whitening System

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• Cosmetic & Whitening Services • Orthodontics / Braces • Root Canals • Crowns / Bridges • Dentures • Implants / Mini Implants • Oral Medication for Anxiety • Nitrous Oxide / Laughing Gas • Oral Surgery / Wisdom Teeth • Botox/Dermal Filler • TMJ Treatment • Most Insurance Accepted

State of Schools 2016-2017


New Schools for

Brandywine Elementary School

2016 DeSana Middle School

FCS’ twenty-first elementary school is located at 175 Martin Drive, Alpharetta. Brandywine ES is named after the former Brandywine School that burned in 1953. The former Brandywine School students later combined with Bethelview School students to form Midway Elementary School in 1961. The name Brandywine honors a Revolutionary War veteran who lived in this area and fought in the 1777 Battle of Brandywine. The school is one-story and similar in design to Kelly Mill ES. It is being lead by Principal Todd Smith, formerly from Midway ES, and is projected to be home to 990 students.


FCS’ tenth middle school is located at 625 James Road, Alpharetta. The two-story design is similar in design to Lakeside MS. DeSana MS is named after Jim and Jeanne DeSana. The couple supported multiple Forsyth County schools by sharing their knowledge in their chosen careers (Jim was an engineer and Jeanne was a genetic scientist, both were artists); serving on school councils and other school wide committees; raising funds for student projects; performing at school functions (Jim was a pianist) and establishing a scholarship fund with their life savings. Since 1998, the DeSana Educational Fund has awarded 53 scholarships to Forsyth County public school seniors totaling more than $300,000. DeSana MS is lead by Principal Terri North, formerly from Piney Grove MS, and is projected to be home to 709 students.

State of Schools 2016-2017

New Schools for


Projected opening ~ August 2018

The Alliance Academy for Innovation of Cumming-Forsyth County

Denmark High School

The sixth traditional high school the district will open will be Denmark HS, named after Dr. Leila Denmark. It is located between Fowler and Mullinax roads south of Midway ES. Opening in August 2018, Denmark HS is adjacent to where Dr. Denmark, one of the first female pediatricians in Georgia, lived and operated her last medical office. Working with Eli Lilly and researchers at Emory University, Dr. Denmark helped develop a successful vaccine for whooping cough in 1932. She retired at the age of 103 as one of the oldest practicing physicians in the nation. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 114 as the fifth-oldest living person in the world. The principal for Denmark HS is projected to be named in late 2016, and the school attendance lines will be approved in late 2017.

This college and career academy is a partnership between the Forsyth County Board of Education, the Forsyth County Public Facilities Authority, the City of Cumming, Forsyth County Government, Lanier Technical College, the University of North Georgia, and Junior Achievement. This campus will provide secondary, post-secondary, and continuing education for individuals, organizations, small businesses, and corporations, along with financial literacy and business ethics trainings for middle and high school students. Alliance Academy will be a three-story building located centrally in Forsyth County on Lanier 400 Parkway, in close proximity to the University of North Georgia Cumming Campus. The 9-12 career development opportunities will not duplicate career pathways at existing high schools but will focus on high-demand, high-growth occupations in our region allowing students to work in simulated environments of business/industry and earn industry credentials and college credit. The leadership of the school is projected to be named in late 2016 and information regarding enrollment opportunities will be communicated during the 2017-18 school year.


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North Georgia’s Elite Clogging & Hip Hop Studio Open House: Saturday, August 6th | 12pm - 4pm State of Schools 2016-2017



State of Schools 2016-2017

Congratulations and THANK YOU to our 82 staff members that retired in 2015-16.


Mary Jeanette Allen Food Service Manager, Sawnee ES

Buster Kilpatrick Custodian, Daves Creek ES

Sophia Banchieri Custodian, Liberty MS

Linda LaCoste EIP Teacher, Chestatee ES

Steven Barnes Science Teacher, West Forsyth HS

Elaine Landry EIP Teacher, Silver City ES

Vanessa Behler English Teacher, North Forsyth HS

Rosemary Lay EIP Teacher, Kelly Mill ES

Carol Benham Secretary, Mashburn ES

Candice Lebo Secretary, BOE/PDC

Diane Bennett Payroll Coordinator, BOE/PDC

Jean Lipscomb Media Specialists, Vickery Creek MS

Sherri Black Principal, Big Creek ES

Maria Mares Custodian, West Forsyth HS

Sharon Bottorf Nurse, Chestatee ES

Angela Martin Grade 3 Teacher, Matt ES

Barbara Bouldin Math Teacher, ACE

Ruby McDougle Custodian, Sawnee ES

Sidney Bramblett Tech Ed Teacher, Forsyth Central HS

Sheila McNeil Grade 1 Teacher, Cumming ES

Karen Brewer Grade 5 Teacher, Sawnee ES

Susan Mitchell Grade 1 Teacher, Silver City ES

Roberta Bryan Nurse, Brookwood ES

Kathy Moreland Nurse, Big Creek ES

Julie Buice Bus Driver, BOE/PDC

Patricia Morgan 6th Grade Science Teacher, South Forsyth MS

Theresa Burnham Special Ed Parapro, Whitlow ES

Van Munn IRR Teacher, South Forsyth HS

Stephen Calabro IRR Teacher, Forsyth Central HS

Margie Nix Bus Driver, BOE/PDC

Ruby Cleland Food Service Asst, South Forsyth MS

Phyllis Palazzo Grade 2 Teacher, Settles Bridge ES

Teresa Cockerham Study Skills Teacher, South Forsyth MS

Sharon Parham Grade 2 Teacher, Settles Bridge ES

Amy Coker Principal, Haw Creek ES

Marsha Patterson Art Teacher, North Forsyth HS

Deborah Coleman Special Ed Parapro, Mashburn ES

Robert Porter Maintenance Worker, BOE/PDC

Lydia Cox Gifted Teacher, Sawnee ES

Cynthia Puetz Bus Driver, BOE/PDC

Lisa Crowder Grade 3 Teacher, Chattahoochee ES

Mary Rogers Science Teacher, North Forsyth MS

Benjamin Davis Asst Principal, South Forsyth HS

Lynn Rogers Social Studies Teacher, Vickery Creek MS

Emil Decker ITS, South Forsyth MS

Marie Rumsey Nurse, Settles Bridge ES

Deborah Earnest Food Service Asst, Forsyth Central HS

Peter Sagona Science Teacher, Otwell MS

Billy Fain Bus Mechanic, BOE/PDC

Debbie Sarver Principal, Lakeside MS

Patricia Flynt Grade 3 Teacher, Vickery Creek ES

Sandra Schlappi Social Studies Teacher, Little Mill MS

Sarah Folkins Spanish Teacher, South Forsyth MS

Virginia Schmeelk Gifted Teacher, Midway ES

Pam Gilbert Food Service Asst, Midway ES

Donna Sears Parapro, Mashburn ES

Terri Gill Health & PE Teacher, Riverwatch MS

Robin Sellen EIP Teacher, Kelley Mill ES

Frank Gordy Assistant Principal, North Forsyth MS

Beverly Shadburn Secretary, BOE/PDC

Dale Gossman Study Skills Teacher, Vickery Creek MS

Leisa Smith Kindergarten Teacher, Coal Mountain ES

Denise Gregory IRR Teacher, Vickery Creek MS

Darlene Storey Grade 3 Teacher, Silver City ES

Karen Griffey IRR Teacher, Otwell MS

Sondra V. Turcotte Art Teacher, North Forsyth HS

Rosalie Hammock Food Service Asst, Forsyth Central HS

Gail Vaughan Custodian, Brookwood ES

Sandra Harrison Language Arts Teacher, Vickery Creek MS

Mary Vaughn Smith ESOL Teacher, Cumming ES

Robert Heim Food Service Asst, Otwell MS

Ricky Vickery Social Studies Teacher, Gateway Academy

Kay Hester SLP, Coal Mountain ES

Donald Ward Bus Driver, BOE/PDC

Dixie Hoglund Bus Driver, BOE/PDC

Rosemary Ware Secretary, Little Mill MS

Connie Hohulin Counselor, North Forsyth MS

Diana Weiberg Gifted Teacher, Johns Creek ES

Margie Ivey Food Service Asst, Forsyth Central HS

Elizabeth Wood Special Ed Parapro, Whitlow ES

Susan Kennedy Kindergarten Teacher, Chattahoochee ES

Karen Yaryan Parapro, Vickery Creek MS

State of Schools 2016-2017

Billy Howell Ford Lincoln is a locally owned and operated Automotive Dealership. We have served Forsyth County and North Georgia since 1977. We will treat you like family and with respect. We look forward to earning your business. Because of our Partnership with Forsyth County Schools, ALL Forsyth County School Employees and student Families will receive the following benefits from Billy Howell Ford Lincoln: • Partner Pricing on All New and Pre-Owned Vehicles. • Preferred Pricing in Our Award Winning Service Department. • Preferred Pricing in our Body Shop and Collision Center. • Special Pricing on All Detail Services.

We look forward to servicing your automotive needs. When Scheduling Appointments, please contact: • New Vehicle Sales: Tom McKnight (Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-8:00pm, Sat 9:00am-6:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm) • Used Vehicle Sales: Jerry McDonald (Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-8:00pm, Sat 9:00am-6:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm) • Service & Detail: Glenn Spayde (Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-6:00pm, Sat 8:00am-4:00pm, Sun Closed) • Collision Center/Body Shop: Craig Carpenter (Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-6:00pm, Sat & Sun Closed)

Mon-Fri 8am-8pm • Saturday 9am-6pm Sunday 12pm-5pm 1805 Atlanta Highway • Cumming, Georgia 30040 VISIT OUR COLLISION CENTER & QUICK LANE AT 2878 Canton Highway • Cumming, GA 30040

State of Schools 2016-2017



Dr. Andrew Poor

2016 Forsyth County & Middle School Teacher of the Year Andy Poor received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, his Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, and his Doctorate of Music Education from the University of Cincinnati. He has taught band and instrumental music in middle and high school since 1988. Andy taught in Cobb and Fayette counties prior to joining Forsyth County Schools at South Forsyth MS.

School-Level Teachers of the Year

Chestatee ES’

Sharon Nizialek 2016 Elementary School Teacher of the Year

Sharon Nizialek received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, her Master’s degree from Connecticut College, and her Specialist’s Degree from the University of Georgia. She has been teaching since 1989 and has taught pre-k through third grade. Sharon joined Forsyth County Schools in 1997, and she has been teaching first grade at Chestatee ES since 2006.

North Forsyth HS’

Jay Glymph

2016 High School Teacher of the Year Jay Glymph received his Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, his Master’s degree from Georgia Southern University, and his Specialist’s degree from Lincoln Memorial University. He has taught social studies in Forsyth County Schools since 2000. Jay joined North Forsyth HS in 2001, and has taught world history, psychology, and U.S. history.

Big Creek Elementary������������������Amanda Schultzaberger Brookwood Elementary������������������������Michelle Reynaud Chattahoochee Elementary�����������������������Ingrid Bjornson Chestatee Elementary������������������������������� Sharon Nizialek Coal Mountain Elementary����������������������������� Miki Waller Cumming Elementary��������������������������������� Sheila McNeil Daves Creek Elementary����������������������������Jennifer Pineda Haw Creek Elementary���������������������������������� Lani Delallo Johns Creek Elementary����������������������������Jodi Hammond Kelly Mill Elementary���������������������������������� Jessie Tomes Mashburn Elementary��������������������������������� Arlinda Porter Matt Elementary���������������������������������������������Holly Smyre Midway Elementary������������������������������������ Sheila Phillips Sawnee Elementary�����������������������������������Becky Chatham Settles Bridge Elementary���������������������������Tiffany Brown Sharon Elementary������������������������������������� Jeremy Beaton Shiloh Point Elementary����������������������������� Angana Ghate Silver City Elementary�����������������������������Shannon Tribble Vickery Creek Elementary.�����������������������Laurie Edwards Whitlow Elementary��������������������������Bethany McClurkan Lakeside Middle �������������������������������������������� Gail Stewart Liberty Middle������������������������������������������������ Erin Tucker Little Mill Middle���������������������������������������Sandy Forman North Forsyth Middle ������������������������ Jessica Norsworthy Otwell Middle������������������������������������������������Tony Collins Piney Grove Middle�������������������������������� Rene Blackstone Riverwatch Middle��������������������������������������� Sarah Kirkley South Forsyth Middle�����������������������������������Andrew Poor Vickery Creek Middle���������������������Carrie Beth Rykowski Forsyth Central High��������������������������������� Angie Richards Lambert High���������������������������������������������������� Tony Sims North Forsyth High�����������������������������������������Jay Glymph South Forsyth High������������������������������������� Kevin Denney West Forsyth High���������������������������������������������� Jim Ernst

As a longtime member of our community, supporter of our schools and Partner in Education, Andean Chevrolet launched the Teacher Advantage Program at the 2016 Celebration of Excellence when they announced that the District Teacher of the Year, Dr. Andrew Poor, would receive a free one-year car lease from their dealership. This is a first for Forsyth County Schools’ Teacher of the Year program. In addition to the car donation, Andean Chevrolet provides discounts on car purchases and services and free oil changes on Chevrolet vehicles (certain exclusions apply) for FCS employees. 38

State of Schools 2016-2017

Thank you for voting us

the BEST 2 years in a row! Dr. McGruder • Dr. Sewell

Dr. Vavilapalli • Dr. Haezebrouck • Dr. Sutphin • Dr. Yu

Serving Forsyth and the surrounding communities for more than 30 years

Come meet our new Certified Professional Groomer, Abbey

770.889.2521 307 Pilgrim Mill Road | Cumming, GA 30040 AVAILABLE 7 DAYS A WEEK! We have extended the emergency hours we offer. Our staff is available Monday - Friday until 8:45pm and Saturday - Sunday until 7:15pm State of Schools 2016-2017


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Partners in Education Opportunities Educator Discounts: Show your support for our 4,700+

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employees and submit your discount at www.forsyth.

Our elegant Independent Living rental apartment complex is now open! • • • • • • • •

Free WiFi: Join our community directory of free WiFi

spots for students by completing the form at www.

Become a Partner in Education! Submit an interest for at for the opportunity to:

Multiple Floor Plans Wellness Programs Covered Parking Barber & Beauty Salon Concierge Service Movie Theater & Library Weekly Housekeeping Club Room & Billiards

• • • • • • • •

Restaurant-style Dining 31 Meals per Month Arts & Crafts Room Covered, Heated Swimming Pool Woodworking Shop Sundries Store Fitness Center Utilities and Free WiFi

VIP Tour Reservations are Required, Space is Limited. To schedule your VIP tour, call Lisa at

815 Atlanta Highway Cumming, GA 30040


• Take an active role in the vital business of educating our students. • Gain a working knowledge about public education today. • Insure a brighter economic future for our students, Forsyth County and the nation.

At the 2016 Celebration of Excellence, sponsored by Northside Hospital-Forsyth, the following Partners in Education were recognized for their commitment to Forsyth County Schools: The Don Hendricks Partner of the Year Award:

Browns Bridge Church

Gold Program of the Year:

Class of


e Portrait Tim ! r io n e S ’s It w intment No

Sean Smith, Balfour

Book Your

Silver Program of the Year:


unt 20% Disctoments

North Lanier Baptist Church Friend of the School:

On Appoin ulfilled Book &de:FSO S2017

Ricky Bryan, Bryan Properties Volunteers of the Year:

use co

Patrick Miller and Katrina Oliver Mentor of the Year:

Ken Terry

New for 2016-17! Contribute to the Forsyth County Schools Education Foundation by contributing to grants to support innovative teaching and increased student achievement. Visit to learn more and contact hsamples@ to get involved! State of Schools 2016-2017


100 Amos Dr. | Cumming, GA Monday - Friday | 8:30am - 5:00pm


HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2015-2016 View the district’s 2015-16 highlight video at

Highest Awards

• Highest ACT Score in Georgia • Highest CCRPI Score in Georgia • Highest Graduation Rate in Metro-Atlanta [Highest in History of FCS] • Highest SAT Score in Metro-Atlanta • Highest SAT Math Score in Georgia • Highest Financial Efficiency Star Rating in Georgia [Only 5 Star in State]

For a list of all FCS state and national awards/recognitions visit

Georgia Awards • Georgia Athletic Director of the Year • Georgia Biotechnology Teacher of the Year • Georgia Directors Cup [Best Overall Athletic Program] • Georgia ES Teacher of the Year • Georgia ES PE Teacher of the Year • Georgia Exemplary MS Library Media Program • Georgia Family and Consumer Sciences Awards • Georgia Golden Radish Award • Georgia HS Musical Theatre Awards • Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch Award


• 2015 National Blue Ribbon School • National STEM Certification [1st ES in Georgia] • Digital School Districts Award [Top 5 District in U.S.] • AP District Honor Roll [1 of 6 Georgia Districts] • AP Honor High Schools [5 of 5 HS] • 3 U.S. News and World Report Top 25 Schools in Georgia • 20 Single Statewide Accountability System (SSAS) Awards from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA)


• • • • • • •

Georgia National History Day Winner Georgia Breakout School Award Georgia Science Olympiad Team Georgia Spelling Bee Winner Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist Georgia Tech Fair Winners Georgia Technology Student Association

• All FC Schools Earn 4 or 5 on GADOE Climate Star Rating • Georgia Title 1 Rewards for District and 3 Schools • Vex Robotics World Awards • Guinness Record for Programming • 21 National Merit Finalists • National Healthy Schools Award • Marine Corps Reserve Association Outstanding Unit Award • NASN Excellence in School Nursing Award • DuPont Challenge Science Writing Competition • Governor’s Shape Honor Roll Award

State of Schools 2016-2017


& CLOSINGS To ensure the safety of our students and staff FCS has a comprehensive plan that is executed when there is consideration of a school closing or delay due to inclement weather.

Who Is Watching The Weather?

The superintendent and administrative staff carefully monitor weather conditions during seasons of inclement weather.

Where Do They Get Their Information?

The school district staff remains current on weather forecasts. The director of transportation monitors and tests road conditions on bus routes and the maintenance department checks school power conditions. Local and state law enforcement agencies and neighboring school systems are consulted about road conditions. Careful consideration is given to the most dangerous bus routes in the district.

What Factors Are Considered When Making The Decision To Close School? Even if it looks clear on your street, dangerous conditions may exist in some other part of the district. Delay or closing decisions apply to all schools in the district, meaning individual or areas of schools are not closed/opened independently outside of others in the system. In deciding whether children will be safe, the following factors are considered: • Information on road conditions from the director of transportation and law enforcement agencies, including whether roads are iced or icing; • Time snow or ice starts and the amount; • Weather predictions; • Building conditions (e.g., whether we have power and heat); • Parking lot and sidewalk conditions; and • Temperature and wind-chill factor.

Who Makes The Decision?

The superintendent of schools is responsible for making the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the district staff. The superintendent tries to make the decision by 5:30 a.m.

How Is The Public Notified?

Forsyth County school closings will be announced on the local and metro broadcast media outlets, the school system website, , and on the automated voice service at (770) 887-2461. Subscribers to FCS’ enewsletters will also receive an email notifying them on closings or delays. Additionally, closings are posted on www. and FCSchoolsGA . Please note that you should verify the information by checking two sources, especially when relying on social media for information. Fake social media accounts with school and/or the district names and logos violate copyright laws but unfortunately are common. FCS’ official social media accounts have been in existence back to 2009 and therefore have a long list of tweets and followers, while fake accounts have significantly less tweets and followers.

What If School Closes During The Day?

If school closes during the school day all students will be sent home in the usual manner (bus, day-care van, etc.) unless other directions are on file with the teacher. It is impossible for the school staff to accept phoned or emailed directions during emergency closures. Parents should plan in advance for early school closings. Make sure that the child knows where to go, how to get there and what to do upon arrival. The public will be notified by the same methods listed above.

What If School Opening Is Delayed?

If school opening is delayed, please follow the same routine/ schedule as normal, but push back the start time by two hours.

Are There Inclement Weather Days Built Into The Calendar? No, FCS recovers lost instructional time due to school closings by using itslearning, the district’s learning management system. For more information visit your school’s website.

Feedback On School Closing Or Delay Decisions

FCS understands that school closings or delays affect families in a variety of ways. Feedback on decisions should be submitted through the “contact us” form at www.forsyth. FCS is unable to respond to individual phone calls, emails or social media posts during inclement weather events.



State of Schools 2016-2017

ONLINE LEARNING PLAN FOR SCHOOL CLOSURES Forsyth County Schools recovers instructional time lost due to school closures by utilizing asynchronous online learning using itslearning, the district’s online learning management system. 2016-17 is the third year of the K-12 Online Learning Plan for School Closures. Based on input from students, parents and teachers, FCS modified the Online Learning Plan in 2015-16, and had success due to a number of factors. First, the district moved to a common course planner and dashboard structure for all teachers. Students were able to find assignments in the same place for all courses. Second, teachers participated in targeted professional development on building online lessons. Finally, and most importantly, teachers and students consistently used the itslearning platform on a daily basis throughout the school year. Thus, navigating the platform and finding the assignments was a familiar process as students were able to retrieve assignments and communicate with teachers as needed throughout the day.

Lanier Crossing

“We have strived to forge a strong partnership with the local community for many years, whether it be school fundraisers, military appreciation, or just free Ice Dream for the kids. We are truly honored to serve you, and I look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Chick-fil-A Lanier Crossing.” -Mike Ridzon, Owner Chick-fil-A Lanier Crossing

Lanier Crossing Shopping Center 653 Atlanta Road | Cumming, GA 30040

FCS looks forward to continuing the use of online learning days to ensure learning continues in the event of a school closure. Links to itslearning and itslearning resources are found on the right-hand side of all school pages.

State of Schools 2016-2017



Alpharetta Office: 770-475-2233

Cumming Office: 770-889-9142

Dunwoody Office: 770-392-6555

Johns Creek Office: 770-814-8883

Serving the Atlanta Community since 1968. Visit us on the web at


State of Schools 2016-2017

Forsyth County Schools First in Nation to Pilot Your Tool for Good Impacting a child’s life just became a whole lot faster through Forsyth County Schools’ pilot with Purposity. Using the networking power of text messaging, our school social workers and the Homeless Liaison can let you know when a child in our community needs something small, like shoes or school supplies. You just click a link, and through Amazon’s Wish List magic, the item you purchase is in hands of that child in no time. It takes one text, under two minutes and a few clicks to make a difference for a child who might even share a classroom with your own children. And, you won’t be overwhelmed with needs. You will only receive one opportunity a week to make an impact. Visit the Purposity website, put in your cell number and zip, and you’re in. It’s that simple. Then, be sure to let your friends know to visit the site too. We need everyone on board so that this school year no child in our community goes without the essentials.

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GEORGIA MILESTONES The Georgia Milestones Assessment System spans grades three through high school and consists of summative assessments in the content areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Students in grades 3 – 8 take an End of Grade (EOG) assessment in English/language arts (ELA) and math; additionally, students in grades 5 and 8 take an EOG in both science and social studies. End of Course (EOC) assessments are administered to students enrolled in each of the eight courses (Physical Science, Biology, Algebra I, Geometry, 9th Literature and Composition, American Literature and Composition, US History, and Economics), as designated by the State Board of Education. Forsyth County Schools’ second year of administering the Georgia Milestones assessment in 2015-2016 was successful. Students and teachers were prepared for the increased rigor of content and changes in format, which included open-ended questions, writing tasks, and multistep problems in both ELA and math. The online administration was increased to include over 5,000 students in elementary and middle schools, above and beyond the typical online administration in high school EOC courses. The district anticipates doubling the number of online testtakers in elementary and middle schools in the 2016-2017 school year. For further information on Georgia Milestones, visit

1060 Dahlonega Hwy • Cumming


Director approved band & orchestra instruments for purchase or rental. Rent to Own Program • No interest • No long term obligation • Return anytime • On-site repairs for all instruments

Private lessons available for all instruments, voice, music theory & jazz studies. Follow us on facebook at

State of Schools 2016-2017



any Purchase

One coupon per customer per visit. Maximum discount $5.00. Coupon valid in store and on in-stock purchase only. This coupon is non-transferable. No Cash Value. Not valid with other discounts or prior purchases. Expires 5/30/17. Coupon code SOS2016


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South Forsyth Forsyth Central

North Forsyth Lambert

North Forsyth

West Forsyth State of Schools 2016-2017



State of Schools 2016-2017

We’re honored to serve you It’s an honor to be recognized as the nation’s leading hospital for maternity and newborn care. Look a little closer and you’ll discover that Northside performs more surgeries and diagnoses and treats more breast and gynecologic cancer than any other hospital in Georgia. While people choose Northside for our expertise, they also know us for our exceptional compassionate care. Visit us online at

State of the Schools ~ 2016-2017  
State of the Schools ~ 2016-2017  

Forsyth County News & Forsyth County Schools