To submit a suggestion

Suggestions for names for any of the three new Dorchester District 2 elementary schools may be submitted through:

Electronic ballots on the district's website, dorchester2.k12.sc.us.

Paper ballots that are available at any school or the district's administrative offices.

Phone calls to (843) 695-5336.

Dorchester District 2 school leaders want the community's help in naming their three new elementary schools.

The schools are a significant part of the $179 million building program approved by voters in November 2012. They are under construction and slated to open in August 2015.

One of the schools will be built at Summers Drive on S.C. Highway 61 in the planned community of East Edisto, which will be a shared campus with the new Rollings Middle School of the Arts. The second school will be at Pine Trace, which is adjacent to the Coastal Center on Miles Jamison Road. The third elementary school will be built on U.S. Highway 78 next to Alston Middle School.

As of Tuesday, more than 2,400 submissions had been received, and 1,391 of those were for the school that will be close to Alston Middle.

Pat Raynor, the district's public information officer, said the Alston property is in an older, established neighborhood, and she thought more people were interested in that site because it's surrounded by more residents. The two other schools aren't in neighborhoods.

She said many suggestions have been names of former district principals, but she declined to release any of those because she said she didn't want to influence the process.

If the board chose to name a school after a former or current district employee, it wouldn't be the first time. In 2011, the board named an elementary school after Superintendent Joseph R. Pye to recognize his service to the district and his role in getting the project underway. And in 2006, it named William M. Reeves Elementary School after current school board member and former Superintendent Bill Reeves, who led the district from 1985 to 1994.

Public input won't be the only factor the District 2 board uses in choosing a school's name. Other considerations will be ensuring the name reflects the community it serves, as well as its history and location.

“Soliciting input from the community to name new schools is a long tradition in Dorchester School District 2 and is certainly a very important part of the process,” Raynor said.

The district will have to change attendance lines for the new schools, but it hasn't done that yet and it will be awhile before that happens, Raynor said.

The deadline for name submissions is Tuesday, and the school board is slated to make a decision at its Jan. 27 meeting.

Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter or (843) 937-5546.