CLOVER -- More changes are on the way for Clover schools.
Attendance lines are shifting as the district prepares to open new elementary and middle schools next fall.
District leaders presented a proposed map of new attendance zones last week during community meetings at Clover and Crowders Creek middle schools.
According to the proposal, Crowders Creek Elementary and most of the Bethany district will remain unchanged, but other elementary school zones will be divided, most noticeably at Griggs Road, where all students south of S.C. 55 will go to the yet-to-be named school on U.S. 321 South. Students between Griggs Road and Main Street also will attend the new school.
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Additionally, students in the northern end of the Griggs Road zone may shift over to Kinard Elementary, and students in the southern part of Kinard's district will move to the new school.
"These lines aren't set in stone," said Ken Love, the district's finance and facilities officer. "We're hoping to hear from the community as we move forward."
Love said the district took several factors into consideration when drawing up the new lines, including school capacity, bus routes, keeping neighborhoods together and maintaining balance.
Jerry Rine, who lives off Paraham Road, said he's keeping an open mind about the new plan. Under the proposal, his 7- and 5-year-old will move from Bethel to Griggs Road.
"I understand we're a growing district and this type of thing happens," Rine said. "We moved here for Clover's schools, and I haven't really heard anything bad about any of them."
Feeder system for middle school
Also, the district decided to create a feeder system for middle schools. The current Clover Middle School will serve students from Bethany, Kinard and the new elementary school. The new school off S.C. 557 near Lake Wylie will house students from Crowders Creek, Bethel and Griggs Road elementaries.
The district also will reorganize grade configurations next fall to:
• K-5 elementary schools;
• 6-8 middle schools; and
• 9-12 high school.
The plan would eliminate the junior high level, which includes seventh and eighth grade under the current grade configuration.
To accommodate growth, the district plans to expand the high school to include the facility used by Clover Junior High.
This plan doesn't settle well with mom Shelia Sanders, who is concerned her daughter Rowen, 12, won't have the same advantages as students who attend the new middle school.
"(Clover Middle School) is an older school and won't have the updates and amenities the new school has," Sanders said. "They're getting lockers up there, but not here. I'm worried about my daughter carrying books and band instruments all day. It doesn't seem fair."
District spokesman Greg Reid said although Clover Junior High has lockers, they're not an option for Clover Middle because the hallways are narrow. However, additional lockers will be installed for athletics, he said.
"Our teachers will work this out with the students," Reid said. "We want to make sure students aren't taxing themselves -- no one needs to be carrying around 50 pounds of books and hurting their backs."
Reid said the current middle school facility is short-term, pending a spring bond referendum.
The district will ask the community to approve a bond package as early as March to finance a new middle school in Clover, purchase land in the eastern part of the district for a future high school and elementary school, make classroom renovations and repair existing facilities.
An exact bond amount has not been set, Love said.
The district will take feedback from the community over the next couple of weeks and will make a formal recommendation to the Clover school board at its Oct. 20 meeting.