Out-of-district request forms are available on the Forsyth County school system’s Web site at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us.
The Dec. 20 deadline is fast approaching for Forsyth County students who want to attend a public school out of their home district.
Associate Superintendent Joey Pirkle said the deadline is earlier this year due to the recent shifts in school attendance zones.
“We have to have that deadline in order to get as accurate a number of students at each school as possible,” Pirkle said.
The plan approved last month shifts about 2,300 students to a different school for the 2012-13 school year.
The decision accounts for the August opening of Kelly Mill Elementary and also relieves overcrowding in middle and high schools.
Redistricted rising fifth-, eighth-, 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders have the option to remain in their current school, as long as they don’t use system transportation.
Those students, however, still must submit an out-of-district request, Pirkle said.
“We’re having them go through the out-of-district process so we can keep track of them,” he said.
“After Dec. 20, and when the principals make their decision and we have all of that information entered, the … registration center will roll the numbers over for next year so we’ll have an accurate number of how many students are anticipated at each school and at each grade level.”
After those counts are tallied, Chief Human Resources Officer Candy Norton will determine how many teachers, administrators and other staff are needed.
Norton said the goal is “to get staff settled and in place prior to the end of the school year.”
“We also know if we would not need particular people or programs, we can give staff an opportunity early enough so they can seek employment elsewhere,” she said.
“Many times there’s anxiety among staff about where they will be, just like there’s anxiety among the community about where their children will go.”
Given the recent school line changes, there likely will be more out-of-district requests this year.
However, that’s not the only reason students can attend a school elsewhere.
Students can transfer if: a parent is an employee; a sibling is in a special education class; or they want to attend a program not offered at their school.
North Forsyth High School, for example, features the county’s lone JROTC program, while Forsyth Central has the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, Academy.
Pirkle said principals will also be looking at rising ninth-graders who have a sibling in high school.
“It’s not one of the reasons on the form, but high school principals are … certainly sensitive to the issue of the position it could put parents in to have siblings in two different schools.”