Reynolds students transfer for a more normal school year


Lia Blackard, Online Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of many students. Instead of going to in person classes, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools (WSFCS) are having virtual classes. Instead of waking up and going to school, students wake up and hop on their computers. Online school is a big change for every student, but several students made the choice to transfer to private schools, where they can continue learning in person. 

Two RJ Reynolds’ seniors, Jack Jordan and Caitlin Tisdale are among these transfer students. They both transferred to Forsyth Country Day School (FCDS). 

“I transferred to FCDS because they provided a better learning environment for my senior year,” Jordan said. “FCDS is offering in person classes. I thrive in a school environment, not my desk at home.”

Jordan chose to leave Reynolds so he could learn in person. The adjustment to a new school has been fairly easy for him. Every student has been welcoming to Jordan along with the teachers who have gone out of their way to help him get acclimated to their curriculum. He has yet to join any school activities, such as clubs or sports teams but is planning on joining some in the near future.

Jordan was able to build strong relationships with his teachers throughout his years at Reynolds. 

“While at RJR I made some spectacular relationships with my teachers,” Jordan said. “Those relationships made me a better student and a better person. I think the thing I will miss most is my Latin class, we had so much fun, it was the highlight of my day. Mrs. Minton was one of my favorite teachers.”

Minton will miss Jordan but understands why he may have felt transferring was the right decision for him.

“While I respect his decision to go, I will certainly miss Jack!” Minton said. “Jack was in my Latin class both last year and the year before, so his absence this year is definitely felt. Jack brought a lot of fun to my classes and I will miss that.”

Tisdale also transferred to FCDS for her senior year. She wanted a more fun, in person school year. The transfer has been easier than expected for Tisdale and she is really enjoying the new school and has already joined a team. 

“There are a lot less students at Forsyth than Reynolds but I do not feel like I am in a super small school,” Tisdale said. “I have joined field hockey and I love the girls on the team!”

Switching schools senior year made Tisdale a little nervous since she was joining a community of students who have grown up together. These nerves quickly faded as everyone began welcoming her to the school. 

One of the things Tisdale misses most about Reynolds is splitting her time between Career Center and Reynolds which allowed her a free period in the middle of the day. Ultimately she is extremely happy with her decision to transfer.

“I am happy that I made the switch!” Tisdale said.

Despite the loss of several students, a few who had the option to transfer chose to stay at Reynolds. Amongst these students is senior Elizabeth Marshall. 

“My reasons for transferring was so that I could be in the classroom,” Marshall said. “I was worried about the organization of online school and had trouble learning at the end of last year when we were online.”

Many students had the same concerns as Marshall including Jordan and Tisdale. However, as the days grew nearer to the start of school, WSFCS district made a plan for the year which eased many concerns for the virtual school year.

“I decided to stay because I spoke with my counselor and he said that we would be much more organized and there would be actual curriculums,” Marshall added. “He also mentioned that the teachers would be using the same server (Canvas) instead of switching by teacher between haiku and google classroom. It made me feel much more at ease that the school had been preparing.”

Reynolds has done the best job possible to help their students feel more comfortable and understand how to manage online school. It has been a very unique start to the school year but Marshall is pleased with how it has been handled. 

“It is not ideal but I think the school system has done a really good job setting up school so that everyone can have access to teaching,” Marshall said. “Although nothing would be better than to actually be in person.”