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Letter: To Forsyth BOE: The big picture is demographics

Three Chimneys Farm cannot geographically populate Denmark High School. Instead South Forsyth High School gets cut in half and West loses only 8.5 percent of students. To relieve overcrowding at Lambert and repopulate students at South, you are moving TCF to South despite TCF’s .5 mile walking distance, 1.6 mile driving distance and physical location in the middle of Sharon/South Middle/Lambert school cluster.

The youngest Generation Y kids are now 13. They are aging out of our schools. Your own data, which won’t be updated for two to three years shows declining school populations at Sharon Elementary and South Middle. Looking at the December 2016 Enrollment Projections you are showing Sharon to be at 83 percent of capacity in the 2018-19 school year. SFMS is projected to be at 96 percent of capacity. 

The December 2016 Roll-Up (2017-18) spreadsheet shows a generally declining school population.  At Sharon, the population declines in every grade from fifth to first, then rises slightly for Kindergarten.  At South Middle, it declines from eighth to seventh, then rises slightly in sixth. Both of these schools feed primarily into Lambert. Your data shows Lambert as basically flat growth from 2018 to 2022.

TCF students will move from trailers at Lambert to trailers at South.  

This shift also increases traffic on already busy roads, increases driving distance to school, creates animosity from the very parents you are hoping will contribute to school programs, and finally, negatively impacts upper classmen’s ability to compete in a very competitive landscape to get into college.  

Let the demographics and trends do what they are going to do, and you can solve your long-term objectives without inflicting harm on the very students you vow to protect in the short term. Keep TCF at Lambert!

Paul T. Aase

Resident of Three Chimneys Farm