Board approves middle school redistricting, future of Philo-Hill programming still in question

Board approves middle school redistricting, future of Philo-Hill programming still in question
February 03
14:59 2021

Last week the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education approved a middle school redistricting plan that will bring some major changes to the district beginning with the 2021-2022 school year that will directly impact students at several schools. 

Here’s what we know: Talks about middle school redistricting began last year to prepare for the opening of a new school in the fall, Lewisville Middle. Cost for construction of the new school was part of the $350 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2016. The school will hold about 800 students and will reduce overcrowding at Jefferson and Meadowlark Middle Schools.  Students will be assigned to Lewisville Middle for the 2021-2022 school year and the school won’t enter the list of Choice Zone Schools until the 2022-2023 school year.  

The motion approved by the board last week will also affect students who attend Hanes, Mineral Springs and Philo-Hill.  

At Hanes, the district is looking to move current residential students, who live on the north side of the city, to a school closer to their neighborhoods, Mineral Springs. Up until 2015, Hanes shared a building with Lowrance, a special needs school, on Indiana Avenue, but when it was discovered that the site had groundwater contamination, the school board voted to move the schools. Although the water in the building is safe, parents demanded that the students be moved, ultimately leaving the board with no other option.

Lowrance now shares a building with Paisley IB Magnet School and Hanes is currently located on the south side of the city, but still serves students who live on the north side. 

Next year, current residential students who attend Hanes will be reassigned to Mineral Springs, which is located on Ogburn Avenue; however, students will have the option to stay at Hanes as a magnet student. Hanes will have a new residential boundary around the school’s current location. Essentially, Hanes will have the same zoning boundaries as the old Hill Middle School.

In December the board also discussed closing Philo-Hill next school year while renovations to the gym, dining area, and administrative building are being completed. Instead, the board voted to keep students on campus while the renovations are being completed. 

While that’s settled, it’s still unclear what educational model Philo-Hill will have moving forward. 

The initial recommendation proposed by Homan Atashbar, director of student assignment, was to reopen Philo-Hill as an arts magnet school, but after concerns from the board and parents during drop-in sessions, the district decided to go back to the drawing board. According to Atashbar, the district will be sending out surveys asking the community what type of programming they would like to see at the school. 

“We’ve been working already with our instructional staff to come up with some options as far as programming goes and we’re going to do a robust survey for the community starting in two weeks,” Atashbar said. “We’re basically going to do an electronic push first, then if we have to, make phone calls or knock on doors because we really want to hear from that community.”

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors