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BOE resumes student spotlights, approves 2022 elementary redistricting timeline
Members approve land purchase on Keith Bridge Road for new distribution center
07152020 Board of Education 1

The Forsyth County Board of Education brought student and staff recognitions back to its regular meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 14, taking a moment to cheer on students from Lambert High School and leadership from Poole’s Mill Elementary.

Until Tuesday’s meeting, the board had to forgo in-person recognitions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

To bring back this tradition after a year without visitors, the board invited in members of the Lambert High School Girls’ Golf team, who won the 2021 NHSGA high school golf national championship in Pinehurst, N.C., this past summer.

The board congratulated the five competitors — Sara Im, Iris Cao, Sharon Mun, Averi Cline and Katherine Chang — along with Head Coach Shane Fortenberry.

They also highlighted Poole’s Mill Elementary School as its first school superior spotlight since the start of the pandemic.

In a presentation to the board, Principal Paige Andrews explained some of the larger projects she and her team have completed at the school and want to build on in the future.

Andrews said the school was able to raise enough money this past year to build a track around the third- to fifth-grade students playground, and plan to build a pavilion nearby where students and community members can spend time outside.

In an empty space at the back of the school, stretching from one side of campus to the other, school leaders also want to create a sensory garden, featuring six sections of different sensory spaces.

The principal plans to start work on the garden soon using a grant awarded to the school by the Forsyth County Education Foundation.

“We love Poole’s Mill in our little district over there,” said Wes McCall, the board’s vice chair and District 1 representative. “One of the things when we started this process, we always talk about the school is the hub of that community, and you guys have really embraced that …. The parents are excited about it, the kids are excited about that area, and it’s because of you guys and your leadership.”


Distribution Center

Near the end of the meeting, the board voted to approve the purchasing of 15.7 acres located along Keith Bridge Road for a new Forsyth County Schools distribution center.

Chief Facilities Officer Matt Wark said the district is currently running multiple programs out of its existing distribution center, which is just under 24,000 square feet.

They are unable to fully use the space as a full distribution center, so he believes a new building on the property will provide more storage space and resources for the district while saving on costs.

Wark said the new building will be 57,000-58,000 square feet with more than 46,000 square feet of storage space. According to the district website, the project will cost $1.6 million before legal expenses and other fees.

The board unanimously approved the property sale.

“This is a great addition to the district,” Wark said.


Redistricting timeline

The board also approved the timeline for the 2022 redistricting process, which will populate New Hope Elementary ahead of its opening next school year and help with overcrowding in neighboring elementary schools.

Deputy Superintendent Mitch Young presented the timeline to the board at its work session on Tuesday, Sept. 7, and one date on the timeline changed before a final vote was made this week.

The public forum scheduled for Oct. 21 was moved up to Oct. 18, and will be held at Forsyth Central High School at 6 p.m.

With this change, the board unanimously approved the timeline. It is now available, along with additional redistricting information, on the district’s website.

Here is the approved timeline:

●     Oct. 12: A draft of the map featuring the new proposed attendance lines for 2022 will be released;

●     Oct. 13: The draft of the map will be posted online, and the district will open a two-week online feedback survey to give community members a chance to review the map and request any changes;

●      Oct. 18: The board will invite community members to a public forum to provide feedback on district maps;

●     Nov. 9: District leaders will review and discuss the input provided by community members and school leaders;

●     Nov. 16: The board will vote on the final redistricting map for the 2022-23 school year at its regular meeting.


Dual enrollment policy

Accountability Coordinator Tim Keyser recommended that the board rescind the district’s dual enrollment policy in light of the state board’s new rule, which no longer requires local boards to have its own, separate policy.

This means local districts will now go by state guidelines and policies following dual enrollment. The board passed the recommendation unanimously.