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Forsyth school system staff growing with students

FORSYTH COUNTY — While Forsyth County Schools’ enrollment may still be on the rise, the teachers and staff educating and protecting those students has been set.

The system welcomed 479 new hires for the 2015-16 school year, bringing the total number of staff to 6,204, according to Cindy Salloum, associate superintendent of human resources and legal services.

Of those new hires, 347 are certified staff members, 129 are newly funded positions and 111 are first-year teachers.

They hail from all over, including 74 from neighboring Fulton and Gwinnett counties, 32 from other Georgia school districts and 31 from 16 other states.

They were joined by 102 new educators who are former teachers in the district, paraprofessionals and substitutes.

Some highlights of the new staff brought in this year include:

* 50 in special education

* 1 for vision impaired students

* 10 for world language

* 7 music teachers

* 7 art teachers

* 14 counselors

* 2 psychologists

* 2 in information technology

They can be broken down by school levels including:

* 137 for elementary school general education

* 15 for middle/high school science

* 23 for middle/high school ELA

* 27 for middle/high school math

* 13.5 for middle/high school CTAE

While new educators and positions came into the schools, the district recorded a retention rate for 2015 of 93.7 percent.

That number has declined each year beginning in 2012 (95.7 percent), but school officials noted people tended not to move as much during the recession and its aftermath.

With the new and returning staff members matched up with 44,114 students, they bring the student-to-certified staff ratio to 14.4.

This does not include the 1,581 substitutes, 840 of whom are substitute teachers and 326 of whom are certified subs.