For 2 1/2 hours Monday night, the Rock Hill school board used a computer to move students from one school to another, examining the overall effect on school populations.
Based on feedback gathered at a public hearing last week, the board spent the bulk of Monday's work session testing what would happen if they took suggestions offered by parents. The board wrestled to find the best scenario for elementary, middle and high school reassignment maps that will be implemented next school year.
The new maps were designed to ease crowding at Old Pointe Elementary and Rock Hill High and to fill two new schools opening next year -- Mount Holly Elementary off Porter Road and Dutchman Creek Middle at the intersection of Mount Gallant and Museum roads.
Revised copies of the proposed maps will be posted on the school district's Web site, www.rock-hill.k12.sc.us. The large maps that have been in school offices will be removed because they no longer reflect the current proposals.
Never miss a local story.
The school board plans to vote on the reassignment maps Oct. 22.
Each school level -- elementary, middle and high -- has a separate map.
The board on Monday detailed concerns at each level, as well as socio-economic balances that may occur by shifting students from one school to another.
Some families reassigned to attend Belleview may have to make a lengthy drive to school when three other elementary schools -- Lesslie, Independence and Mount Holly -- are much closer.
Allowing those students to attend one of the other three schools would cause the percentage of students on free and reduced lunch or who have low state test scores at Belleview to shoot up into the 60s.
"All of us agree that situation needs to be improved," Chairman Bob Norwood said. "But none of us know what the solution is."
The board plans to reconsider the map as-is at its next meeting unless a board or staff member can make a better suggestion. Several board members said they would spend time at the district office trying to find a better solution to present.
The largest area of concern for the middle school map was off Celanese Road near the intersection with India Hook.
Several neighborhoods, including Cato Estates and Bristol Park, could be assigned to different schools than original proposals show.
A separate change would seek to prevent a small group of children toward the center of the district from transitioning to middle and high school without many of their peers.
A Connect-ED phone message will notify parents of these proposed changes and gather feedback.
Concern at the high school level centered on the southeast side of the district, where several neighborhoods were rezoned from Rock Hill High to South Pointe High School.
The district's transportation department recommended that some areas be allowed to stay at Rock Hill High, which no board member objected to.
The board was split on whether other nearby neighborhoods also should be allowed to stay at Rock Hill High because of country roads students would have to take to South Pointe. Two high school scenarios will be considered at the Oct. 22 meeting.