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Ring the bell for an historic school year
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Forsyth County News
The school year that starts Mon-day in Forsyth County will definitely be one for the books.

After all, it isn’t every year that you open five new schools all at the same time, which will be the case when the first bells ring on the 2009-10 school year tomorrow morning.

That’s quite an achievement, and one in which all of the employees of the school system, from Superintendent Buster Evans down, should take pride.

Area residents as a whole also should be proud of the new educational facilities opening this year.

Forsyth parents, property owners and taxpayers have on many occassions shown a willingness to tax themselves for quality education, knowing as they do so that better schools mean better standards of living for the entire community.

The new high school, middle school and three elementary schools welcoming students for the first time attest to the county’s continued attraction of new residents, which in turn is at least partially due to the quality of the local schools.

What is as remarkable as the growth in the school system, however, is the constantly changing instructional structure.

These are not your dad’s classrooms.

Just a couple of generations of students ago, high technology in Forsyth County schools meant replacing manual typewriters in a typing class with electric models.

Today, the county’s schools are on the cutting edge of educational technology, with interactive whiteboards, video conferencing, classroom computers and wireless connnections.

Biometric scanning will even allow students to buy their lunch by reading their fingerprints.

Advancing educational technology even farther, the school system is laying the groundwork to be able to offer a virtual classroom for grades K-12 next year, which would allow students more flexibility in gaining knowledge at home through the auspices of the county’s schools.

Such technological advances are necessary to prepare students for the world in which they will compete for jobs.

But regardless of the method of instruction — wireless keyboards or rote recitation — the backbone of any successful school system is its teachers, and the county has been blessed with an exceptional core of quality classroom educators.

And for all the new technology, some things remain the same — like those big yellow school buses that will be on the roads come Monday morning. Watch for them, and be careful, for the passengers they transport are priceless.