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Forsyth County school system releases first proposed redistricting map
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Draft #1 Elementary - photo by FCN file photo

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SOUTH FORSYTH -- The Forsyth County Board of Education approved the first redistricting draft Thursday afternoon, and it is now available online for public viewing and comment.

 

Ten schools look to be impacted by the new map, which will be approved later this fall, relieving overcrowding at existing schools and populate two new schools, Brandywine Elementary and DeSana Middle. Both are scheduled to open for the 2016-17 school year.

 

Joey Pirkle, deputy superintendent of schools, presented the draft to the BOE Thursday.

 

 

Elementary schools

 

Big Creek, Daves Creek, Haw Creek, Mashburn, Midway, Shiloh Point and Vickery Creek elementary schools will see redistricting, while middle schools to be affected are Piney Grove, South Forsyth and Vickery Creek.

 

As proposed, Brandywine will receive 476 students from Midway, 144 from Shiloh Point and 401 from Big Creek, bringing 1,021 students to the new elementary school at 91 percent capacity.

Brandywine’s capacity is 1,125 students.

 

To offset student losses at those schools, Midway will get 138 students from Vickery Creek and 142 from Shiloh Point. This will bring Midway’s student population to 487, which is 78 percent capacity. Vickery Creek will have 1,130 students at 110 percent capacity.

 

This first draft does not have any students being moved into Big Creek, leaving it with 731 children and at 81 percent capacity.

 

Without Brandywine, Midway would start the school year at 109 percent capacity, which Shiloh Point would be at 118 percent and Big Creek at 126 percent.

 

Shiloh Point looks to take 40 students from Daves Creek, leaving it at 1,138 students and 97 percent capacity.

 

Daves Creek will also give 200 students to Haw Creek. This would bring Daves Creek down to 96 percent capacity with 1,006 students.

 

Haw Creek will also lose 21 students to Mashburn, bringing its capacity to 102 percent with 1,197 students and Mashburn to 86 percent with 601 students.

 

Pirkle said many feeder patterns, which dictate a students’ elementary to middle to high school path, should remain the same.

 

Ann Crow, BOE member for District 1 mentioned concerns for the 96 percent capacity at Daves Creek, which sits south of Cumming, and the large amount of future development planned in the south end of the county.

 

Those same concerns were mirrored by Kristin Morrissey, District 2 board member, who said opening Brandywine at 91 percent capacity may quickly lead to overcrowding.

 

 

Middle schools

 

DeSana Middle School is proposed to be populated with 746 students from Piney Grove and 105 from Vickery Creek. This will result in an inaugural class of 851 students, which is 83 percent capacity.

 

To offset students lost from Piney Grove, the school is expected to receive 34 students from South Forsyth.

 

After the move, South Forsyth will be at 94 percent capacity, Piney Grove will be at 83 percent and Vickery Creek will be at 117 percent.

 

 

Next steps

 

Information on redistricting will be available online until Sept. 21, where parents and students can view the numbers and complete a survey.

 

Parents of affected subdivisions should get an email blast with the information, too.

 

Once the redistricting map is given final approval in November, affected households will receive a formal letter in the mail.

 

The second draft will be presented to the BOE and subsequently to the public in October.

 

Also in October, public forums will be held for additional feedback: 6 p.m. Oct. 20 at West Forsyth High School for elementary schools and Oct. 22 at the same time and place for middle schools.

 

There is no intent to adjust 2016-17 high school lines, as high schools will be redistricted in 2017 for the opening of Denmark High School in 2018.

 

Rising fifth- and eighth-grade students will have the option to complete an Out Of District Request in December to remain at their current school for their last year, though parents will have to provide transportation. Siblings of those students can apply to remain at that school, too, but only for one year.

 

The draft can be found online at forsyth.k12.ga.us.