Capping the end of a long, often emotional process, the Forsyth County Board of Education on Thursday voted 5-0 to approve new attendance zones for elementary and middle schools.
Over the past couple of months, the board has heard from hundreds of parents — online and at public meetings — concerned about the redrawn boundaries for the 2014-15 year.
“It does weigh heavy if we have 20 or 30 people respond,” said board member Kristin Morrissey. “But even if no one raised concern about a subdivision or area, we [still] looked at each and every one.”
Schools affected by the redistricting include Big Creek, Daves Creek, Midway, Settles Bridge, Sharon and Shiloh Point elementary schools and Riverwatch and South Forsyth middle schools.
The board approved the second draft of the plan as written by staff, with just one change, suggested by Morrissey, whose district was the most affected by the process.
Because only about 15 students would have been impacted, the board approved keeping the Ivy Falls subdivision at Daves Creek Elementary. Officials did say, however, that could change next year, based on continued growth.
The board also agreed Thursday to hold a bond referendum in May to pay for system projects, including the construction of a new elementary school in south Forsyth.
Redistricting likely will be required again when that new campus opens, but the board felt changes had to be made for the coming school year to help crowded schools like Midway Elementary.
Board Chairwoman Darla Light acknowledged the difficulty of changes, but was optimistic that parents would make the best of the situation.
“There’s not a school in Forsyth County that they can’t get a great education at and I hope that all parents will … embrace this and use it as an opportunity to teach their children,” she said.