Also during Thursday’s meeting, the Forsyth County Board of Education approved a resolution to ask the local state legislative delegation to introduce legislation to remove loopholes in the senior homestead exemption for ad valorem tax. The loopholes exempt seniors who have students residing in income-producing property or residential property from paying school taxes when they are not the legal guardians of the students.
-- Kayla Robins
FORSYTH COUNTY — A policy change that allowed students to begin class this school year without certain health documents may be revised.
The Forsyth County Board of Education was presented Thursday with proposed changes to two policies, which both have to sit for 30 days to allow the public time to provide feedback.
Policy JBC deals with what health screening and immunizations records are required to be turned in before a student can enroll in school.
As it stands, students may attend class even if they have not turned in those two forms.
Mike Evans, the system’s director of information and instructional support systems, told the board during its meeting that the practice was allowed “as a convenience to the families moving to the district at the last minute or midyear.”
“The intent was to allow the students to begin school right away with minimum burden on the families,” he said.
The change resulted in 751 provisional enrollments for immunizations and 1,365 for health screenings.
“Though this allowed students to begin immediately, the schools and student information department[s] were faced with ongoing challenges to collect the documents prior to the withdrawal deadline,” Evans said.
“Since the provisional enrollment is a rolling date, each week students had to be withdrawn in order to force families to comply with the required documents.”
Students can be provisionally enrolled for 30 days due to a lack of immunizations and 120 days due to a lack of health screenings.
The board has also been asked to modify part of this policy that would no longer require parents to meet with the district’s health services facilitator to request a religious waiver for immunizations, instead having parents fill out a state form.
Removing these parts of the policy would return it to its original state that was in effect two years ago.
Another revision is on the table that deals with Policy JCBD.
Currently, students can enroll in the school system without living in the county, a policy that 627 students used this year.
“These families were either building or purchasing a home in the school district but had not yet closed prior to enrolling,” said Joey Pirkle, deputy superintendent of schools. “Many of these situations required repeated time extensions, resulting in students attending school in the county while living outside Forsyth.”
The revision would remove that option, requiring a family to provide proof of residence before enrolling their child in the school district.