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Forsyth County school system begins new year Thursday

FORSYTH COUNTY — This weekend marks the last few days before the 2015-16 school year kicks off in Forsyth County, and students and parents are not the only ones preparing for that first bell.

Ryan Campbell, a first-year teacher who landed a first-grade classroom at Chattahoochee Elementary, said he is ready to give back.

“I had a lot of teachers in my life influence me into making the decisions I’ve made,” Campbell said. “I want to change the way the education process happens and make it more active and fun for kids.”

The recent West Chester University of Pennsylvania graduate moved to the area when his Forsyth-born wife got a job as a CAT scan technician.

He said his goal in becoming a teacher is to educate elementary-aged students, because “that’s when they’re fresh and new to school and you can make the best impression possible.”

Campbell noted he wants to “see what [Forsyth County Schools] is really all about. I’ve heard that it’s one of the best school districts in Georgia, and I’m lucky to be a part of it.”

He will have that chance on Thursday.

Why Thursday?

“Based on feedback we get each fall for the next calendar year, people like getting into the routine for a couple of days then having the weekend to get supplies and make adjustments before having a full week,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system.

The district’s enrollment is projected to top 44,000 this year, she said, mirroring the constant upward trend in Forsyth County growth. The 2014-15 school year ended in May with 42,687 students enrolled.

Registration times are booked through the first day of school, so parents who still need to sign their students up need to get a walk-in appointment.

Caracciolo said walk-ins will have longer wait times, but that it is necessary to complete before a child can attend any of the 35 public schools in the county.

Once students set foot on many campuses, construction projects will be well under way, meaning certain areas, buildings and walkways will be inaccessible.

“We understand it’s an inconvenience and it’s messy, but we’re asking for patience from parents and students who travel those routes,” Caracciolo said.

South Forsyth High has a video touring new transportation routes that were altered due to construction, and North Forsyth High has the same information on its website.

Here’s some more information.


School start and dismissal times


Bell times have not changed from last year, Caracciolo said.

Elementary I (Big Creek, Brookwood, Chattahoochee, Chestatee, Coal Mountain, Cumming, Haw Creek, Kelly Mill, Matt, Settles Bridge, Sharon, Shiloh Point and Vickery Creek) schools start at 7:40 a.m. and are released at 2:20 p.m. Early release is at 11:50 a.m.

Elementary II (Daves Creek, Johns Creek, Mashburn, Midway, Sawnee, Silver City and Whitlow) schools begin at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3 p.m., with an early release at 12:30 p.m.

Middle schools start at 9 a.m. and get out at 4:15 p.m. Early release is at 1:30 p.m.

High schools begin at 8:25 a.m., end at 3:40 p.m. and release early at 12:55 p.m.


2015-16 school calendar


Some notes about this year’s calendar include:

* One week of fall break (Sept. 28-Oct. 2)

* One week off for Thanksgiving (Nov. 23-27)

* The first semester ends before the holiday break (Dec. 18)

* Two weeks of holiday break (Dec. 21-Jan. 1)

* One week off for spring break (April 4-8)

* School ends before Memorial Day (May 27)

* There are four early release days — three for parent conferences and one for professional development

* There are no inclement weather days

More information on these topics or any other areas of the school system can be found on the district’s website,

Questions or concerns about a student’s schedule should be directed to that student’s school counselor, for which contact information can be found on each school’s website.

For overall logistics questions, contact the principal or assistant principal. Contact information can be found at each school’s website.

Transportation questions, including information about bus routes and times, can be directed to the district’s transportation department. The website and contact information can be reached through the main district page.