Fort Mill elementary school reassignment options to be discussed further tonight

The HeraldOctober 20, 2008 

FORT MILL -- Fort Mill parents expect to learn tonight whose children may be forced to attend a new elementary school next year.

District superintendent Keith Callicutt is scheduled to recommend to the school board an elementary student reassignment plan. The board is not expected to vote.

School officials at a meeting last month unveiled three reassignment options. The proposals come as the district prepares to open two new elementaries in August -- Sugar Creek Elementary off Farm House Road and Pleasant Knoll Elementary off Pleasant Road.

The three options are similar.

• Sugar Creek Elementary is expected to pull at least 500 students from Springfield Elementary. The number could fluctuate depending on which option is chosen.

• In all three scenarios, Pleasant Knoll Elementary would open with 690 students, drawing mostly from Orchard Park Elementary. The Tara Plantation and Tega Cay Village neighborhoods, now assigned to Gold Hill Elementary, also would send their kids to Pleasant Knoll.

• Under two options, Riverview Elementary would pick up three neighborhoods -- Sutton Place, Willowbrook and Wimbleton Woods -- currently assigned to Orchard Park.

• Fort Mill Elementary is not affected by the proposals.

Handling growth

The new schools are intended to prepare the fast-growing district to handle the influx of new students each year. The campuses will relieve crowding at Orchard Park and Springfield elementaries. All five of the district's current elementary schools are built for 900 students. Orchard Park's attendance zone is crammed with 1,300 students. Springfield has 1,056.

In the past three years, Orchard Park, Gold Hill and Springfield elementaries have stopped accepting new students. Families who moved to those areas had to send their kids to either Riverview or Fort Mill Elementary. When school starts again in August, the enrollment freezes will be lifted.

After Callicutt recommends a plan, the district again will take public input through Nov. 2. The school board is scheduled to vote on the plan Nov. 3.

WANT TO BE HEARD?

The Fort Mill school board will meet at 6:30 tonight at the district office, 120 E. Elliott St.

• There are several ways to take part in the reassignment process: Sign up to speak at school a board meeting; call, e-mail or write school officials.

Fort Mill schools district office: 803-548-2527, fax: 803-547-4696; Web site: www.fort-mill.k12.sc.us; 120 E. Elliott St., Fort Mill, SC 29715

Shawn Cetrone • 329-4072

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