Big changes on the horizon for local middle schools

Big changes on the horizon for local middle schools
December 02
14:27 2020

With a new school scheduled to open in the Lewisville area, renovations at Philo-Hill, and proposed redistricting, next month the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education will have some big decisions to make when it comes to local middle schools. 

Construction for the new Lewisville Middle School located on Robinhood Road near the intersection of Lewisville-Vienna Road, was part of the $350 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2016. The school is expected to be finished before the start of the 2021-22 school year and will hold about 800 students. District leaders will have the option to choose between two different rezoning options, both of which will reduce overcrowding at Jefferson and Meadowlark Middle Schools. 

According to Homan Atashbar, director of student assignment, Lewisville Middle School will not enter the SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAM until the 2022-23 school year; during the 2021-22 school year, students will be assigned to the school by residential zone. All students will be expected to attend Lewisville Middle school with the exception of 8th grade students who opt to “stay-in-place” in accordance with their 2020-21 residential assignment. 

The district is also looking to move residential students from Hanes Middle School to a school closer to their neighborhoods. Currently Hanes is located in the southeast portion of the county, but residential students that attend the school are from the north. 

“We’re going to try to redistrict the students back to their geographic area and allow students that are around the Hanes building right now to have a residential school around where they live,” Atashbar said. 

Atashbar said if the changes are approved, students at Hanes in the STEM Magnet Program and HAG Program will remain assigned to Hanes. All residential students currently attending Hanes will be assigned to Mineral Springs Middle School beginning with the 2021-22 school year. And Hanes will have a new residential boundary around the school’s current location in the southeast portion of the county. Students will also have the option to choose between other schools in the Southeast Zone: Southeast and East Forsyth Middle Schools.  

Students attending Philo-Hill Middle School should expect changes next school year as well.

 Renovations for Philo-Hill were also included in the 2016 bond referendum and include a complete makeover to the existing gym, dining area, and administrative building. The project will also increase the student capacity to 800 with the addition of a new three-story classroom wing. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring and be complete before the start of the 2022-23 school year. 

While the work is being completed, Philo-Hill will close temporarily and students will be assigned to Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy or Hanes. Upon completion of the project, Philo-Hill will reopen as an arts magnet school with a residential zone.

For the past two weeks the district has held drop-in listening sessions to hear from the community. The WS/FCS Board of Education is expected to vote on the redistricting lines and the future of Philo-Hill during the full board meeting scheduled for Jan. 26.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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