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Ready or not, schools back
2009-10 year starts Monday
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Forsyth County News

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After a summer in Italy, Greece and Turkey, starting school Monday will be difficult for Emily Sinadinos.

But the South Forsyth High School student is not letting the change in pace stop her from embracing her senior year.

“I’m excited about the classes I’m getting to take ... and being a senior in the marching band,” said Sinadinos, a mellophone player.

Keeping up with class work will be a challenge, but she said she's excited for the opportunity to take psychology and theory of knowledge this year.

Like Sinadinos, Jake Chickowski will be atop the totem pole as an eighth-grader at Riverwatch Middle School.

“It’s the last year of middle school and ... I think it’s going to be harder than seventh grade because it’s getting ready for high school,” he said.

Though Chickowski is excited about his final year at Riverwatch and playing football for the Panthers, he also is upset because “some of my friends are going to Lakeside” due to redistricting.

Lakeside is one of five new Forsyth County schools that will welcome students Monday. The others are Lambert High School and Brookwood, Haw Creek and Whitlow elementary schools.

Students attending the new schools may be surprised to find many familiar faces, said Forsyth County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo.

“We are opening five schools and we’re only hiring 88 new staff members,” she said. “Many of the children that will be going to the brand-new schools might know a teacher, because most of the teachers will be coming from an existing Forsyth County school.”

Candy Norton, chief human resources officer, said about 500 employees were shifted to a different school this year. The goal, she said, has been to keep staff continuity at each school, and make the changes as smooth as possible.

Except for a new facility, students returning Monday won’t likely notice anything different.

“I think all school systems will be expecting a slight increase in class size ... probably about a two-student increase, which the state is expecting and the state board has allowed,” she said. “I really do think we’ve done remarkably well to do all of our staffing shifts that we’ve done.

“We're equipped to get going on Monday morning. I feel really good.”