Recent school rezonings locally have been mostly due to the opening of new schools, but officials in both Dorchester District 2 and the Berkeley County School District said attendance lines might have to be redrawn to ease overcrowding if their respective referendums do not pass:
Berkeley County School District opened Cane Bay Middle School with the same attendance zone as Cane Bay elementary and high schools. The school drew about 250 students from Berkeley Middle School and almost 100 zoned for College Park Middle.
Charleston County School District opened a new arts school, North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School, and the North Charleston constituent school board agreed to carve the schoolís attendance zone from nearby North Charleston Elementary. The constituent school board did not hold any public hearings on its proposed attendance lines, and its chairman said at the time community leaders were aware of the changes.
Dorchester District 2ís Pye Elementary opened, pulling about 400 students from Oakbrook Elementary School, 300 from Fort Dorchester Elementary and 75 from Spann.
District 2 also made adjustments to attendance lines that shifted about 360 students to Ashley Ridge High School from Fort Dorchester High (300 students) and Summerville (60 students). Some exceptions were made to the new lines on a case-by-case basis.
Cane Bay Elementary opened, easing crowding at Devon Forest and Whitesville elementary schools. The Berkeley County School Board considered rezoning some students from Berkeley Elementary and Berkeley Intermediate, but ultimately decided against it to keep those students closer to home and in the same zones for middle and high school.
Charleston County School District closed Brentwood Middle and opened Jerry Zucker Middle in North Charleston. There was little community outcry when the constituent school board redrew attendance lines, although some principals expressed concerns with the proposal.
Before the opening of Cane Bay High School, Berkeley school district held public meetings. Cane Bay High drew students from the Stratford and Berkeley attendance zones but did not make students switch schools they were already attending and granted exceptions for families with two or more children.
Ashley Ridge High School became Dorchester District 2ís third high school, easing overcrowding at Summerville and Fort Dorchester high schools.
Eagle Nest and William Reeves elementary schools and River Oaks Middle School opened in Dorchester County, resulting in new attendance lines that officials said at the time uprooted as few students as possible. Roughly 2,100 elementary school students switched schools, with Fort Dorchester Elementary losing more than 700 students to Eagle Nest and Knightsville and Flowertown each sending more than 300 children to Reeves. Additionally, 1,200 middle school students were moved.
Laurel Hill Primary in Mount Pleasant opened next door to Pinckney Elementary in the Park West neighborhood subdivision in Mount Pleasant. All of Laurel Hill Primaryís nearly 800 kindergarten through second-grade students came from Pinckney Elementary, which became a third- through fifth-grade school.
When Daniel Island School opened, Berkeley County School Board voted to limit the attendance zone to those residents living on the island up to and including the homes along Jack Primus Road.
Charleston County school officials wanted to create two middle schools in West Ashley and put fifth-grade back in elementary schools. Fifth- and sixth-grade students had been attending West Ashley Intermediate School, and seventh- and eighth-grade students attended West Ashley Middle School. The constituent board held three public hearings on the matter, and only 24 people spoke on the issue.
The constituent board eventually created St. Andrews Middle and expanded West Ashley Middle by one grade.
When Fort Dorchester Elementary School opened, the Dorchester 2 board changed the attendance lines of every elementary school and nearly all middle schools in the district. After 12 community meetings in six weeks and hundreds of letters and phone calls from parents, the plan was fine-tuned to receive approval from almost all involved.
The Mount Pleasant constituent school board faced substantial pushback from the community when it decided to move children in the Brickyard Plantation and Colonnade subdivisions from overcrowded Charles Pinckney Elementary School to nearby Jennie Moore Elementary.
A public hearing on attendance lines drew about 225 people, many who did not want their children moved out of Pinckney. Arguments ranged from the age of the schools to test scores to the effect of the move on students.
Mount Pleasant also faced rezoning when Pinckney Elementary opened in 1999 and when Belle Hall Elementary opened in 1990.
Brenda Rindge and Diette Courrege Casey
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