SDPC attendance lines could be redrawn

By: By Kasie Strickland -

EASLEY — The Pickens County school board is considering options for changing the attendance lines for elementary schools in the Easley area, according School District of Pickens County Information Specialist, John Eby.

Multiple factors went into the proposal, but one of the most significant is projected attendance.

“East End Elementary is above recommended capacity and its student population is projected to grow over the next five years,” he said. “While Crosswell Elementary, Forest Acres Elementary and West End Elementary all have capacity for greater enrollment.”

The move would also help to improve car and bus transportation routes within school zones and to improve attendance, Eby said.

In an interview with the Sentinel-Progress, Eby said while the overall goal is to make sure each facility is being used to its best potential, the redrawing of the attendance zones could also increase space for students to choice in to the upcoming McKissick Academy of Science & Technology from outside the McKissick attendance zone.

The idea to redraw the lines came on the heels of the announcement last week about McKissick’s redevelopment into a STEM-focused magnet school.

“There’s going to be a lot of changes coming with that, but I think the possible re-drawing of the (attendance) lines will be first major change that’s being considered,” he said.

The proposed changes were drawn not only based on current enrollment, but also with consideration of 10-year enrollment projections created by an independent demographic consulting firm, SDPC officials stated.

According to records, for the 2017-2018 school year, with 762 students enrolled, East End is running at 106 percent of its 718 student recommended capacity. Meanwhile, just a few miles away, West End is holding steady at a comfortable 75 percent.

”It is important to note that middle school and high school attendance patterns would not be changed by any of the proposals,” said Eby.

The school district will be holding two informational meetings on Jan. 9 and Jan. 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Easley High School cafeteria.

District administrators and board members will be present at the meetings to answer questions and listen to feedback.

“Also, we will be sending out an online survey about the proposed changes next month,” Eby said. “The board plans to take a vote on the issue during its next regular monthly meeting on January 22.”

By Kasie Strickland

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.