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BOE approves district lines for Hendricks Middle, East Forsyth High schools
Outdoor classroom at Little Mill to be renamed after late teacher
090920 Hendricks Middle School
The Forsyth County Board of Education received an update on the progress of Hendricks Middle School during a work session on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (Screenshot)

The Forsyth County Board of Education voted on several changes to the district at its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, including final district lines for the 2021-22 school year, out of district rules and the renaming of an outdoor classroom.


2021-22 district lines

The Board of Education voted unanimously to approve new middle and high school district lines for the 2021-22 school year Tuesday night as part of the effort to populate the new Hendricks Middle and East Forsyth High Schools and relieve overcrowding at existing schools.

The district lines passed were those proposed in the district’s original redistricting plan made available to the community for feedback in October. The district held two public forums and posted an online survey for parents, students and community members to provide feedback on the proposed plan.

After meeting with school staff members and principals and reviewing the community feedback, Forsyth County Schools Deputy Superintendent Joey Pirkle recommended that the board make no changes to the proposal during last week’s work session.


Out-of-district guidelines

Pirkle also went over the redistricting out-of-district process and guidelines with the board Tuesday night, outlining what students may be able to stay at their current school when district lines change next school year.

He said that the district will mostly follow the same out-of-district guidelines for redistricted students that they did when Denmark High School first opened in 2018.

Rising high school seniors who have been redistricted will remain at their current schools as East Forsyth High School will not open with a senior class in 2021. Rising eighth-graders can also stay at their current schools.

East Forsyth High School will open for the first time in August 2021 for the start of the next school year.
The district is also keeping the sibling rule where the siblings of rising eighth- or 12th-grade students who choose to stay at their current school may also stay at the school “as we would not want a family to have two different children in two different high schools,” Pirkle said.

Students who have completed at least two years of a career pathway that would not be available at their new school will also be allowed to stay at their current school in order to complete the pathway. Similarly, students currently involved in the orchestra program at Forsyth Central and West Forsyth High schools will also be able to stay where they are.

“You all felt that [the orchestra program] was important to consider when we opened Denmark because it was kind of a unique, standalone program that didn’t fit in with the CTAE career pathway program,” Pirkle said to the board.

The one difference in rules from Denmark’s reopening to this year is all students from North Forsyth, West and Central who are currently “a varsity letter contributor” on the varsity football team may stay at their current school as East Forsyth High School will not open with a varsity football team.

After reviewing the guidelines for the next school year, the Board of Education passed them unanimously.

Students who fit into any of these categories and want to stay at the school that they are currently districted for next year must fill out an out-of-district request. The forms will be available starting Dec. 1, and the deadline to turn them in is Jan. 18.

“We will certainly look at every single one of these, and we’ll look at [them] case-by-case to see how they fit in with the process and the guidelines that we have set forth,” Pirkle said.


Outdoor classroom

The board also made a unanimous decision Tuesday, Nov. 17, to rename the outdoor classroom at Little Mill Middle School to the Brenda Coe Outdoor Classroom.

FCS Director of Communications Jennifer Caracciolo suggested the change to the board, reading a statement to them from Little Mill Middle School Principal Connie McCrary.

“Brenda Coe impacted the lives of many students, families and colleagues during her teaching career,” McCrary wrote in the statement.

Coe started as a special education teacher at the school when it first opened in August 2007. Staff members and students alike were devastated when she died suddenly in January 2013.

“[She] worked tirelessly on the behalf of not only her special education students, but all students,” Caracciolo read from McCrary’s statement. “She was a relentless advocate for children.”