Local News
Monday, 13 July 2020 13:37

Back to School

Forsyth County Schools issued what options parents will have for their students when they return to class this fall.

Unless otherwise directed by the governor or Georgia Department of Education, school will begin on Aug. 6 as scheduled for the district. K-12 students will have two options: face-to-face or virtual.

Special needs pre-K or kindergarten through fifth grade virtual

Special needs pre-K or kindergarten through fifth grade virtual learning option is being created in direct response to the feedback Forsyth Schools received from parents/guardians in recent surveys. Families should understand this will not look the same as the virtual experience this past spring. The expectations and strictness will mirror face-to-face instruction, and the virtual students will have a full school day Monday-Friday. This will require a significant commitment needed by parents/guardians to help facilitate learning virtually.

Parents and guardians should also note that their child's teacher may not be physically located at the school where they are districted, and if a parent/guardian selects to switch to face-to-face instruction in the second quarter, their child may have a different teacher. The district will be staffing face-to-face and virtual learning with existing teachers.

Sixth through 12th grade virtual

Currently the district provides middle and high school virtual learning through the Forsyth Virtual Academy program. Parents, guardians and students who may be interested in this option for the 2020-21 school year should visit online more about the course offerings and how to register. Forsyth Virtual Academy courses are a semester long commitment, which is 18 weeks. Since the Forsyth Virtual Academy is a program and not a school, students will still maintain official enrollment at their districted school.    Therefore they will be able to participate in school activities or athletics. The deadline to register for Forsyth Virtual Academy classes for the 2020-21 school year is July 31.

The district also released information on the 2020-21 school year operations budget. Last year's school year, the 2019-20 operations budget was funded with about 48 percent of local, state and 52 percent of federal revenues. For the 2020-21 school year, the state is projecting an 11 percent decrease for education funding and the local digest is projected to increase less than prior years.

Forsyth Schools received $1.7 million from the CARES Act.. The district closest to it in size, Atlanta Public Schools, received $22.9 million.

Forsyth Schools is one of a few school districts in Georgia to have a senior exemption at the age of 65, which is an annual loss of an estimated $36 million.

Finally, in terms of state revenue sources, Forsyth Schools' local fair share contribution has increased over the last four years to be $62.5 million in 2019-20.

Ninety percent of Forsyth Schools' general operational budget is salaries and benefits. It costs approximately $2 million a day to pay employee salaries and benefits. For the 2020-21 school year there will be no step increases, no cost of living increases, and decreases to the student (school) and employee work calendars. Once the district receives our revenue projections from the state and county, they are unable to know the specific number of school and workdays, or which days specifically will be adjusted. Please note that all currently scheduled breaks (Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring) will remain as listed in the 2020-2021 school calendar.

Continue to visit the Restart Forsyth Website for updated information.

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