Dorchester District 2 to reveal elementary attendance-line plan Monday

Students line up outside their class at one of 31 classroom trailers located behind Knightsville Elementary School in Summerville. Dorchester County School District 2 is opening three new schools and redrawing its attendance lines to help relieve overcrowding at schools like Knightsvile.

Dorchester County School District 2 will give parents a last chance to weigh in on new elementary school attendance lines at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Summerville High School.

The district plans to open three new elementary schools in the fall of 2016, relieving pressure at some of its most overcrowded schools: Knightsville, Beech Hill and Reeves elementary schools. At public meetings starting in mid-October, district officials rolled out an initial plan for new attendance lines and sought input from parents.

District Superintendent Joe Pye said the finalized plan on Monday will incorporate some of the suggestions from parents, particularly in neighborhoods near the border of proposed attendance zones.

“There’s no question we’ll be making some changes based on comments from the public,” Pye said. “Anything we could do to keep from removing children from their present school was the priority.”

After the Monday meeting, district leaders will present their finalized proposal to the school board at its Dec. 14 meeting for approval. Pye said the district will consider comments and suggestions from parents at the Monday meeting.

“There might actually be something still to be changed,” Pye said.

With an enrollment of 25,638 students and a total capacity of 21,860, Dorchester District 2 is at 117 percent of the intended capacity for its school buildings, making it the most overcrowded district in the tri-county. The district is using 178 mobile units as classrooms to make up the difference, including 31 units at Knightsville Elementary alone.

Dorchester 2 plans to open three new elementary schools in the fall of 2016: Alston-Bailey Elementary near Alston Middle on U.S. Highway 78, Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary near the Coastal Center on Miles Jamison Road and Sand Hill Elementary near the planned Summers Corner community off of S.C. Highway 61.

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