Parents left the Forsyth County Board of Education meeting Thursday night both defeated and grateful.
Many in the packed board room had approached school officials last month pleading for relief to the crowding at Midway Elementary.
The change they got came in the form of a light redistricting that will shift 113 students from Midway to Big Creek Elementary and another 70 Midway students to Vickery Creek Elementary.
The board approved the shuffling Thursday, to the satisfaction of many parents.
Regina Tallent approached the board to express her gratitude.
“We feel like that you took time to hear our issues, you went and did your own research and made sure you understood what we want at Midway,” she said. “You did the hard work of pulling together a quick plan for our children.”
It wasn’t an easy pill to swallow for Aliss Fox.
“My third-grader will be losing at least eight of his friends,” she said, also noting that four of the eight new Midway PTA members are being moved in the redistricting.
“When the maps were released [last week], the kids were crying and the parents were crying, because nobody really wants to leave Midway … as unpleasant as all of this has been for everybody ... something had to be done.”
There also were some parents who asked the board Thursday to add their subdivisions, including Shepherds Pond and Wallace Run, to the realignment.
Perhaps the most stirring argument came from Dustin Zabrocki, representing the Hanover Park and Hanover Point subdivisions.
About half of the board room was filled with residents of the communities, which are on opposite sides of Union Road.
Under the plan approved Thursday night, Hanover Place on the west side of Union Road will stay at Midway, while Hanover Point, which is on the eastern side, moves to the Vickery Creek district.
While the subdivisions are split by a road, both sides share amenities, with several families and friends living between the two.
However, the board stuck to its original plan, saying the speakers’ requests will be considered in the fall, when a major redistricting is scheduled.
“We don’t want to have to move the same children two and three times … in an elementary school,” said board member Kristin Morrissey. “We want to make sure we don’t put so much into Big Creek that it’s overloaded within a year as well.
“Midway is not our only overcrowded school right now. So we really need to watch these numbers and make sure that we do this properly.”
The board appeared aware its decision would upset some parents, but member Ann Crow said dividing subdivisions is nothing new.
“We’ve had to do this before,” she said. “And also, once you get one subdivision, then the one next to it [says] why don’t you add it. Because we know that this fall we’re going to be addressing a bigger redistricting of people, that will involve some of you sitting in this room ... we just don’t know, but there’s going to be a lot of movement.
“We need to stick with this plan ... I feel like it’s in the best interest.”
After the meeting, Hanover subdivision resident Sara Fatima said she understood the board’s stance, but added that “honestly now, our subdivision is totally and completely divided.”
“We really are one community and then to have friends and kids — we’ve got families that are split between the two neighborhoods ... that causes a bit of a commotion and a bit of a disturbance amongst the kids and amongst the parents,” Fatima said.
“To be honest it just feels like our voices were not heard. But you know what, we’re going to try again next year.”