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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Info

Welcome to WS/FC Schools

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools serves about 44,500 students. Our goal is to provide a quality education for each child. We are proud of our 66 schools and the opportunities they offer to the community. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools was formed in 1963 by the merger of the city and county school systems. It is the fifth-largest system in North Carolina and the 107th largest in the nation.


Thirty-eight elementary schools serve students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Fourteen middle schools teach sixth- through eighth-grade students, and those in ninth through twelfth grade attend one of eight high schools. Six special schools bring the system total to 66. Systemwide, 54 percent of the students are white, 36 percent are black, 7 percent are Hispanic, 1 percent are Asian, and 2 percent are multiracial.

The Board of Education has adopted a "Schools of Choice" plan which gives parents the opportunity to choose the best school for their child within eight elementary zones and six middle school zones. "Schools of Choice" was created to eliminate the worst effects of cross- county busing, to improve student performance through parental participation, and to motivate students through different learning themes, which enhance the basic North Carolina Standard Course of Study at each school.

High school students are assigned to a school based on where they live. Four high schools operate on a four- period "block" schedule, and four offer seven periods a day.

Any elementary or middle school student can apply to attend another school and will be admitted if there is space and if parents provide transportation. Transfers within a zone are allowed only through the zone registration process each spring. Under the high school transfer plan, students may apply to attend any other school and will be admitted if there is space. Students may not be recruited to transfer for athletics. Applications for transfer are available at each school in the winter.


Elementary students are generally taught in self-contained classes; in most schools, the average class size is 23 to 26 students. Primary reading teachers, guidance counselors, media coordinators, curriculum coordinators, and specialists in art, foreign language, 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. The average class size is 24 students.

All high schools offer a comprehensive curriculum at regular and honors levels. Average class size is 25 students. The Career Center offers more than 30 sophisticated vocational programs and 28 Advanced Placement (college-level) courses. College-level courses are also available at some high schools and through dual enrollment with Forsyth Technical Community College and other local colleges.

All schools provide programs for academically gifted students and for most students with special needs.

Exceptional Children

Identified exceptional children are served with resource teachers or specially designed classes in their regular schools, or at several locations throughout the school system. Services are available for students in the following categories: mentally 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. Preschool disabled children also can receive services.

Five schools serve students with specific special needs: the Children’s Center for the Physically Handicapped, Lowrance Middle School, Forsyth Vocational High School, LEAP Academy at Kennedy and Independence High School.


Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is among the state’s academic leaders. Among the state’s other urban school systems, WS/FCS has one of the highest percentages of schools demonstrating expected or exemplary growth under the ABCs of Public Education, a state accountability program. Eighteen schools were designated as "Schools of Distinction," with 80 percent of their students testing at or above grade level. Two schools were named "Schools of Excellence," with 90 percent of students testing at or above grade level.

Average SAT scores continue to follow an upward trend. WS/FCS seniors scored 15 points above the state average in 2000. Sixty-nine percent of local seniors took the test, compared with 44 percent nationally. In spite of this higher participation, average scores were only 16 points below the national average.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is a publicly funded organization
Enrollment: 44500
No. of Schools: 67

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