Maps intended to show new attendance boundaries for Mount Pleasant elementary and middle schools were indecipherable to some parents, and officials say they are trying to fix the problem.
The District 2 (East Cooper) Constituent School Board released maps showing the school zones it approved to go into effect in the fall of 2015, but some parents said the maps were of such poor quality that they couldn’t tell how their neighborhood would be affected. Two of the maps showing new middle school zones were so zoomed out that they showed all of Mount Pleasant, as well as downtown and parts of West Ashley; neighborhoods were indistinguishable.
“The maps are terrible,” tweeted one man. “Scale is too far out.”
“Can’t really understand it,” another woman posted on Facebook. “Too small!”
Charleston County schools spokesman Jason Sakran said the district is trying to obtain better renderings so parents can be more informed. He hopes to have those soon.
The maps and attendance lines likely will change again. Dozens of parents aren’t happy with the constituent board’s decision, and the Charleston County School Board possibly, although not likely, could delay building the new Laing Middle School because of a temporary cash flow shortfall.
If the new Laing building is postponed, it would have “dire consequences” for the rezoning plan, wrote Marty Belk, chairwoman of the board, in a letter to East Cooper parents.
The constituent school board is tasked with approving the new lines, and it plans to meet in August. The board will re-evaluate the situation and tweak the zones, and the final maps should be presented to the community by September.
The constituent board approved the latest maps at its May 29 meeting, and those are considered public information by law. The Post and Courier had been asking for copies of those maps for weeks, and the board provided those to the newspaper late last week.
Belk said the board still wasn’t ready to release the maps, but did so at the newspaper’s request.
The constituent board was able to zoom in and manipulate the attendance lines by using a computer program, but street names weren’t available in the maps provided to the public.
“We’ve tried to comply and show that we’ve done the best we know how,” Belk said.
The board later plans to provide detailed explanations to parents on how it decided on the zones, as well as show how neighborhoods would be affected.
Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter or (843) 937-5546.