EASLEY — Some Easley kids will be headed to a different elementary school for the 2018-2019 school year following the School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees’ decision to rezone attendance lines.
SDPC Information Specialist John Eby stated the changes were made with several issues in mind: to use school facilities more efficiently based on projected attendance and available space, to improve car and bus transportation routes within school zones, to improve attendance and to increase space for students to “choice in” to the upcoming McKissick Academy of Science & Technology from outside the McKissick attendance zone.
According to data from the district, East End Elementary was already above recommended capacity and its student population was projected to grow even larger over the next five years. On the flip side of that coin, Crosswell, Forest Acres and West End Elementary schools were all operating with room to spare.
“The proposed changes were drawn not only based on current enrollment, but also with consideration of 10-year enrollment projections created by the independent demographic consulting firms of Cropper GIS Consulting and McKibben Demographics,” Eby said. “These firms also created the projections for what enrollment would be under both rezoning options.”
Middle school and high school attendance patterns would not be changed by either of the proposals, he said.
After reviewing data from the consulting firms as well as an online parent survey, the Board voted to adopt the rezoning plan known as “Option 2” during their meeting on Jan. 22.
Option 2 affects students in the Crosswell, East End, Forest Acres, McKissick Elementary and West End elementary school attendance zones.
District officials said the board began consideration of rezoning late last year when attendance and population issues were made apparent.
“Under the approved plan, zoned enrollment at East End Elementary and McKissick Elementary is projected to drop, while attendance at the other three schools in the area is projected to rise,” said Eby. “All five schools are projected to be within their recommended building capacity after rezoning.”
A letter from the district will be sent to every Easley elementary parent to inform them how their address will be affected by rezoning — if at all.
Additionally, the SDPC has stated they intend to honor all requests for rising 5th grade students (current 4th grade students) who are affected by rezoning to remain at their current schools next year — as long as parents can provide transportation.
Requests from students in lower grades to remain at their current school will be treated the same as current school choice applications.
Current McKissick students wishing to attend the McKissick Academy of Science & Technology will be given automatic approval. However, in every case, students using bus transportation must attend the school for which they are zoned, they said.
To see which school your student in zoned for, visit www.pickens.k12.sc.us/parents/registration/school_locator or call 864-397-1211.