Thousands Of WS/FCS Students Head Back To Classrooms
Monday marked the first day of school for the new academic year in many districts across the state. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is focused on keeping classrooms open, despite an increase in COVID-19 cases.
District leaders celebrated back to school with a ribbon-cutting at the new Lewisville Middle School. The building was constructed to help address population growth in the western part of the county.
There was a lot of nervous energy from kids, parents and staff as some COVID-19 safety measures remain in place.
Linda Castillo dropped off her son Anthony Galvan, a sixth-grader, for the first time at the new school.
“For me, I’m just happy that the kids are getting out and about. I think us as adults we were able to go to work and be out and about but they had to be inside," says Castillo. "I’m just really excited for them."
Sixth-grader Lindsey Wilcox is still figuring out where her classes are located in the building. She says she's ready for whatever the school year brings.
“I feel like I’m going to learn a lot better than I did online because now I have someone who can help me and if I need help I can go to them personally, and I think that will be really good for me," she says. "This is such a beautiful new school. I’m so excited for the opportunities available. I see so much I can do here.”
Overall, the school system welcomed more than 54,000 students.
Superintendent Tricia McManus says she’s anticipating a successful year. There is a new volunteer program called Reading Warriors, a new goal for increasing third grade reading proficiency to 90% by 2025 and plans to improve graduation rates.
McManus says this all starts with community support.
“Safety has to continue to be our number one priority, and so yes, the mitigation strategies and folks being careful and folks making sure that even in the community that we are all following safe practices. The good thing this year is because of mask-wearing unless a child is positive they won’t have to quarantine," says McManus.
She says the district is using federal COVID relief funding to continue some after-school programs and other academic supports for students.
Teacher recruitment is a big focus. As of Monday morning, there were 110 vacancies in the district. Critical shortage areas are math, science and exceptional children.
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