Choosing a school for your children is hard, and the choice system in Winston-Salem can be confusing at times, especially to those of us who come from small towns that only had one public school option. The city is designated into zones, each of which has schools assigned to it. There are 11 zones for Elementary and 7 for Middle. Within each zone, there are separate boundaries for each school. Where you live will determine your residential school—this is the school that your child will be guaranteed acceptance into.
To find out what school zone you are in and what your residential school is, go to the following website and enter your address: assignment.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/locator/home/.
To any other schools within the school zone you can apply to be “choiced in”—this is called the “school choice system.” Acceptance into these schools will depend on how many spots are open at the time. You can also apply to out-of-zone schools, but no transportation is offered for these.
In the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System, there are 44 Elementary Schools, 14 Middle Schools, and 13 High Schools. You should certainly do additional research to make a good decision based on what qualities would work best for your family, but we have done profiles of a few Elementary School options below!
Speas Global Elementary School
Speas is a very special school in Winston-Salem, in that it has two separate tracks that families can choose from. There is a standard class option, similar to most schools, and then there is a dual language immersion class that teaches all classes in English and Spanish. For non-native Spanish speakers, this starts in Kindergarten.
Kimmel Farm Elementary School
Kimmel Farm Elementary is a very diverse and engaged elementary school. Greatschools.org rated this school 10/10 for student improvement, which is a fantastic accomplishment. Their active PTA does a great job of supporting the teachers, as well as providing volunteers to enhance the students’ school experiences.
Petree Elementary School
Movement is so important for all humans, but especially children. Petree Elementary has developed an innovative way for the children to be active with their Yoga Program. A local yoga teacher comes to the school weekly (and via zoom during the Pandemic shutdown) to engage students in yoga for their minds and bodies. Each week she has a different theme, including compassion.
Brunson Elementary School
As one of the local magnet schools, Brunson Elementary focuses on STEM learning with a thorough HAG (Highly Academically Gifted) program. With a 14:1 student to teacher ratio, Brunson’s test results are consistently higher than the state averages. In addition to their academic programs, they also have a bilingual program that transitions native Spanish speakers into comfortably speaking English at school. Their STEM program uses a project-based curriculum called “Engineering is Elementary,” to challenge their students to grow academically and creatively.