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First draft of school redistricting unveiled
Public input period opens
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

The Forsyth County school system’s first draft of its redistricting plan for the 2014-15 school year would affect the following:

 

Elementary

* Big Creek — 887 capacity, 255 students to Brookwood

* Daves Creek — 1,062 capacity, 167 students to Sharon

* Daves Creek —1,062 capacity, 178 students to Haw Creek

* Midway — 637 capacity, 65 students to Shiloh Point

* Midway — 637 capacity, 49 students to Big Creek

* Settles Bridge — 1,037 capacity, 45 students to Sharon

* Sharon —1,187 capacity, 59 students to Johns Creek

* Shiloh Point — 1,162 capacity,187 students to Big Creek

 

Middle

* Riverwatch — 1,037 capacity, 251 students to South Forsyth

* South Forsyth — 1,012 capacity 69 students to Lakeside

Source: Forsyth County school system

More than 250 elementary school students could shift from Big Creek to Brookwood next year.

That’s just one of the proposed changes in the Forsyth County school system’s first draft of its redistricting plan for the 2014-15 school year.

The Board of Education got a first look at the proposal during its work session Thursday.

Among others, the plan would affect families living in the Brandon Hall, Glenmoor, Keystone, Laurel Springs, Longpointe, Ridge at Stoney Point, Shiloh Farms, Turnberry and Windrose subdivisions.

Redistricting would have the biggest effect on Midway Elementary, which has a capacity of 637 students.

“We’re going from 910 [students] roughly to 673 for Midway, a much-needed improvement,” said board member Kristin Morrissey.

Crowding at Midway has been a long-standing issue for the school system. Before the current school year, the board approved a small-scale redistricting to reduce enrollment there by nearly 200 students.

The measure shifted 113 students to Big Creek and another 70 to Vickery Creek.

Associate Superintendent Joey Pirkle, presented the redistricting plan, saying the big challenge was “the domino effect.”

Staff, he said, worked to keep the feeder patterns intact. For example, if a Midway student was slated to attend Piney Grove Middle School, the goal was to move them to a different elementary school that would still feed into it.

That’s why schools such as Big Creek would shed students from one end of the district and add from another.

While feeder patterns did change, Pirkle said none would impact which high school a student would attend.

For middle schools, Riverwatch would send 251 students to South Forsyth, which in turn would see 26 students move to Lakeside.

While all three schools would still be over capacity, the burden would be shared, instead of Riverwatch having nearly 400 students more.

“It leaves everybody still a little overcrowded, but more equally overcrowded,” said Darla Light, board chairwoman.

The system has posted the plan for online feedback, at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us,which will run through Sept. 27. Four drafts of it are likely before the board approves a final version Nov. 21.