Come Learn about All WS/FC Schools at the New School Showcase
The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Showcase will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 in the Education Building at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.
Parking is free. Enter at Gate 7, which is on Shorefair Drive. The concession stand in the Education Building will be open so snacks will be available for purchase.
For those who cannot come to the Showcase, another option is to participate in a tour of a school that your family is interested in. Those dates vary. Please check with the school.
By Kim Underwood
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
NOVEMBER 7, 2019 – The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system is packed with teachers and other staff members working hard to see that each student receives the best education possible.
In addition to the standard curriculum, schools offer special programs designed to help students flourish. Some schools offer paths that could lead to careers in, say, health services or construction. Others offer arts programs that enable students to explore their creative sides.
On Saturday, Nov. 16, families can learn more about what each school offers at the first Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Showcase. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Education Building at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. Parking is free. Enter at Gate 7, which is on Shorefair Drive.
The Showcase replaces the annual Magnet Fair, which focused on magnet schools in the school system. The Showcase will include all schools, and families will be able to learn about education programs from pre-kindergarten through high school.
Instructional Superintendent Sam Mills said, “We believe that a School Showcase is necessary to highlight all the things that make all of our schools unique.”
“Every school will be there to showcase and for questions.”
At each school’s station, people will be able to talk to principals and other administrators, to teachers, and, in many cases, to students already going to the school.
“It is different because it is providing an opportunity for our community to look at all the options that our school district offers for students,” said Christina Forney, the school system’s Program Manager for Academically Gifted, International Baccalaureate, Advance Placement and Magnet programs.
“It allows them to select what is best for their family.”
It’s a valuable opportunity, she said, that could enable families to expand their understanding of the available possibilities.
“You have all of these options in one place,” Forney said. “You are able to get a feel for what the schools have to offer.”
“I’m excited. I think this is a new opportunity for our school district. We have a lot of exciting things going on. Each school has its own diverse teaching and learning approaches, but they are all centered around the same district and state outcomes for our students.”
Many education options are available in the school system. The school district has schools that focus on the arts, on the International Baccalaureate approach, on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), on Career Academies that prepare a student for an entry-level job in such careers as health and construction.
At Early College of Forsyth, which is on the campus of Forsyth Technical Community College, students can enter as freshman and graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. At Middle College of Forsyth, which is also on the Forsyth Tech campus, high school juniors and seniors can take college courses.
In addition to having administrators, teachers, and students who go to the school on hand, several schools will also have students participating in activities that illustrate the different learning experiences that schools offer.
For instance, at some stations, students will be working on construction projects. Students at other schools will be dancing or working on STEM projects. Students from some schools will also be preparing food that families can sample.
“Schools have the option of selecting how to highlight and celebrate who they are,” Forney said.
Here’s what Amanda Gordon, an art teacher at Diggs-Latham Elementary who also serves as the school’s Magnet Coordinator, had to say:
“For Showcase, we will have a table display with artifacts that represent our A+ Magnet Theme of Arts Integration and Performance. We will have students and teachers demonstrating, playing, and creating at our table with band instruments, violins from orchestra, and a simple art 'make-and-take.' Performance Focus Group students and Art Club Members will be among these student demonstrators.”
At the Showcase, magnet schools will be grouped together. Other schools will be arranged by their attendance zones so that families can readily visit all the schools within a zone if they wish.
Representatives from departments throughout the school system will also be on hand to provide information about such topics as early learning, Career Technical Education programs, student assignment, and transportation.
Depending on what families decide, they may have to apply to a magnet school or to a school outside of their regular attendance district.
“The Showcase is a good place for them to start looking at their options ahead of the application periods,” said Homan Atashbar, the school system’s Director of Student Assignment.
Atashbar and others from Student Assignment will be on hand.
“Come see me, and we will answer questions,” Atashbar said.
The Student Assignment station will be near the Transportation Department station, where families can get information about buses.
The periods for applying to magnet schools and for applying to schools that are within a family’s attendance zone or out of zone are similar to past years.