Forsyth County Schools officials signaled that they will
soon be moving forward with a redistricting plan ahead of the opening of
Poole’s Mill Elementary in north Forsyth County in 2020.
The proposed redistricting for Poole’s Mill would potentially involve six different “moves,” which would rearrange the attendance lines for five north Forsyth elementary schools, placing about 800 students at Poole’s Mill from other existing schools, and exchanging swaths of land so that other surrounding schools are below 100% capacity.
School officials say that since the redistricting plans were released in early October, they have received a torrent of feedback from the community, both positive and negative.
At a public forum held at North Forsyth High School on Oct. 21, board of education members heard a number of concerns from the community, including the redistricting’s impact on traffic, parent commuters, and programs like Dual Language Immersion (DLI) which is held at Kelly Mill Elementary, but not other schools in the North Forsyth area.
At the Forsyth County Board of Education November work session held on Tuesday night, Forsyth County School Superintendent Jeff Bearden said that next week he would be recommending the board to approve the redistricting, with one minor modification involving the DLI program.
"The staff has reviewed all the comments we received from our public on the draft that was submitted to the board. As of this point, there are no recommended changes to the lines that were drawn for Poole's Mill Elementary,” Bearden said. “However, I am going to be recommending next week … that the students involved in the (DLI) program at Kelly Mill Elementary, that we allow them to be out of district so they can remain at Kelly Mill, and we will provide transportation for those students as well."
Forsyth County Schools Director of Communications Jennifer Caracciolo said after the meeting that this modification to the redistricting would affect nine of the 61 students that are slated to move from Kelly Mill to Sawnee, allowing the small group of students to stay at Kelly Mill and receive regular bus transportation to and from school.
Beyond that one modification, Bearden said that system staff would be meeting once more this week to discuss an additional proposal involving student transportation in a small area of the Matt Elementary School district that was recently brought to their attention, but the redistricting is slated to move forward at the November board meeting on Nov. 19.
"We'll make the official final recommendation next Tuesday," he said.