Welcome to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools formed in 1963 with the merger of the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County school systems. It is the fourth-largest system in North Carolina and the 78th largest in the nation.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools serves about 54,000 students with the goal of providing a quality education for each child. The school system has 43 elementary schools, 14 middle schools and 15 high schools. Nine special schools bring the systemwide total to 81.


The Board of Education is composed of nine members who serve terms ending in 2014.

The board designates a superintendent to oversee the day-to-day operations of the school system. Superintendent Beverly Emory began her tenure in 2013 and manages more than 7,000 employees. Click here for the organizational chart.


Schools operate on a unified calendar, which begins August 27 and is scheduled to end on June 10.


Elementary students are generally taught in self-contained classes. Primary reading teachers, guidance counselors, media coordinators, curriculum coordinators and specialists in art, music and physical education add to regular instruction.
Middle schools provide a gradual transition to departmentalized teaching. In addition to continuing to build basic skills, students explore special interests in music, art, languages, life skills, technology and computers.
All high schools offer a comprehensive curriculum at regular, honors and Advanced Placement levels. The Career Center offers about 30 vocational programs and more than 30 Advanced Placement (college-level) courses. Advanced Placement and college-level courses also are offered at high schools and through dual enrollment with Forsyth Technical Community College and other local colleges. Parkland High School offers the International Baccalaureate Programme, a worldwide curriculum that students can use to earn college credit.
Schools provide programs for academically gifted students. Students identified as highly academically gifted can attend Brunson Elementary and Hanes Magnet.

Exceptional Children
The school system provides programs and services for students with special needs. Identified exceptional children are served through resource teachers or specially designed classes in their regular schools, or at several locations throughout the school system. Services are available for students identified as intellectually disabled, physically disabled, visually impaired, hearing impaired/deaf, emotionally disabled, speech/language impaired, autistic, homebound/hospitalized, learning disabled, multihandicapped, severely/profoundly disabled, other health-impaired, and traumatic brain-injured. Younger children with special needs may also receive preschool services.
WS/FCS employs more than 7,000 people, including about 4,000 classroom and part-time teachers. Students are also served by about 420 bus drivers, 575 food-service workers, 300 housekeepers, and a network of administrators, principals, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers and other staff.


In 2012-13, the school system’s total budget was $539.7 million, including capital projects and child nutrition. Of the total, $169.0 million came from Forsyth County; that includes money for capital projects approved in a 2006 bond referendum. Typically, about 60 percent of the budget comes from the state; about 25 percent from Forsyth County; and the rest from federal and other sources.

  • WS/FCS implemented the Common Core State Standards in 2012-13, and test results reflect the use of more rigorous standards in reading, math and science. In 2013, WS/FCS met 86 percent of its federal testing goals and 88 percent of its state testing goals. Almost 75 percent of schools met or exceeded their state growth goals. Across the district, 42 percent of students in grades 3-8 were proficient in reading; 40 percent were proficient in math; and 50 percent were proficient in science. In high school, 41 percent of students were proficient in state-tested courses.
  • The 2012-13 graduation rate increased 1.2 percentage points to 82.1 percent, the highest percentage since the state began calculating the rate in 2006. Generous support from the United Way of Forsyth County, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Graduate. It Pays., Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Communities in Schools has helped the school system increase the rate.
  • The average SAT score for seniors in 2013 in math and reading was 1,000, and 1,478 with writing included.
  • About 3,300 students graduated in 2013.
  • 21 students were named National Merit Semifinalists in 2013.
  • Sylvia Chen of Reagan High School and Benjamin Zhang of Mount Tabor High School were named the 2013 AP Scholars for North Carolina. The award goes to the female and male students with the top scores on AP exams. Both students also took classes at the Career Center.
  • Diggs-Latham Elementary School and Reynolds High School were two of five schools in North Carolina to receive the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts School of Excellence in the Arts Education Award.
  • The school district was one of two in North Carolina to receive College Board’s AP District Honor Roll award. The award is given for increasing the participation and access to AP classes and increasing the percentage of students who earn a 3 or greater on AP exams.
  • High schools won four state team athletic championships. Students also won 12 individual state championships.
  • Teacher of the Year: Amy Pantano, a fifth-grade teacher at Kernersville School.
  • Principal of the Year: Gary Cone, Paisley IB Magnet School.
  • Forest Park Elementary School and Philo Magnet Academy were named Signature Schools by the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium.
For More Information

For more information, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, PO Box 2513, Winston-Salem, NC, 27102-2513 or call 336-727-2696.


For the 2013-14 school year, 43 percent of the students are white, 29 percent are African-American, 22 percent are Hispanic, 4 percent are multiracial, 2 percent are Asian, and less than 1 percent are American Indian or Native Hawaiians/Pacific. You can see a list of demographics by school for 2013-14 here; similar figures are available for 2012-132011-12, 2010-11 and 2009-10

A list of schools and their enrollments for 2013-14 is available here. You also can see the figures for 2012-132011-12, 2010-112009-10 and 2008-09. A list of historical enrollments since WS/FCS formed in 1963 can be found here.
Last Modified on September 17, 2014