More than 54,500 students return to school remotely today

Published 11:09 am Monday, August 17, 2020

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Today, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools start classes remotely for the 2020-2021 school year. More than 54,500 Pre-K – 12th grade students are enrolled in 80 different schools and one Pre-K only site (Middle Fork). To date, included in those numbers are 1,156 students in pre-kindergarten; 23,588 in elementary; 11,803 in middle; 16,048 in high; 1,888 in non-traditional. A few other interesting back-to-school facts include:

  • Teachers — A total of about 4,300 teachers work for the district. That includes 1,956 at elementary schools; 929 in middle schools, 1,188 in high schools; 253 in non-school locations. There are 901 teacher assistants to help teachers.
  • District staff — Another 2,303 people work for the system as principals, assistant principals, classified staff and in other positions.   
  • Student hotline — This year starts with a hotline in place. With classes meeting remotely, parents have many questions. Parents can get answers by calling the Our Safe Return Hotline. It will remain active Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The hotline has been fielding as many as 600 calls a day.
  • Child nutrition — Child Nutrition will continue to offer meals to pick up. “As we start the new school year on Aug. 17, meals will continue to be available for all enrolled WS/FCS students,” said Caleb Angelo, executive director of child nutrition. “Just as we normally would, we will transition from our summer meals program to our traditional school-year program and will charge students meals based on eligibility status.” Thirty-nine schools will serve as meal sites and there will be more than 100 mobile delivery sites.
  • Technology – To begin the year remotely, WS/FCS has distributed more than 30,000 Chromebooks and 4,000 WiFi hotspots to families that need them. The technology support team assisting teachers, students and parents consists of more than 100 people.
  • 2016 bond projects — Workers continue to work on the timeline of bond projects approved by voters in 2016. This summer, the gym at Wiley was demolished and grading began for the new addition. Cost of this is approximately $500,000. Demolition was completed of the old building at Konnoak Elementary, and the parking/play areas at Konnoak and Lowrance/Paisley were completed. Cost approximately $2 million. At Easton Elementary, renovations were completed to the cafeteria/dining area, the gymnasium, and the front parking area at a cost of approximately $1.8 million
  • Backpacks for students — WS/FCS has 14 Inspire340 schools — schools that receive additional support because such a high percentage of students come from low-income families. The Carolina Panthers have donated 200 backpacks for each of those schools.
  • Community Learning Centers — WS/FCS has partnered with more than 30 churches and community organizations to open remote learning centers while schools are closed due to COVID-19. The centers will serve as safe spaces for student to learn, have access to tutoring, and WiFi connectivity. A full list is on the school system’s website.
  • Mobile classrooms – Beginning Aug. 24, the district will be deploying up to 20 buses enabled with WiFi connectivity to areas identified with a high number of students needing connectivity support. The list of locations and more details will be released next week.

There will be multiple teachers working from their classrooms and beginning their synchronous learning (remote in-person live teaching) on Monday including teachers at:

  • Kernersville Elementary School — 10 a. m. and noon
  • Southwest Elementary School — 11:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
  • Northwest Middle School — 9-11 a.m.
  • Meadowlark Middle School — 8:30 a.m.-noon.
  • Mount Tabor High School –9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.