No new first-grade students will be accepted at Gold Hill Elementary School in Tega Cay for the upcoming school year.
Effective immediately, the Fort Mill school board voted Tuesday to place an enrollment freeze on any new students not enrolled for first grade at Gold Hill Elementary by the close of business Wednesday.
Any new students will instead attend Tega Cay Elementary School.
Gold Hill Elementary first-grade teacher Amy Johnson brought the issue of crowded classrooms to the board Tuesday.
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Johnson said she has 23 students, and some teachers have 24. With new neighborhoods nearby, she is concerned more students will soon populate Gold Hill Elementary.
“We’re really running out of space,” Johnson said. “To be the most effective teacher I can be, our class sizes need to stay at a reasonable size.”
Johnson, who has been teaching for two decades, said she has found 20 students is an ideal class size.
“Twenty-three makes me nervous; 24 terrifies me,” she said. “I want to make sure I give every child the education they deserve and what we are known for in the Fort Mill school district.”
Johnson asked the board to take action before the school year starts Aug. 17.
The school board also approved a new enrollment freeze on all grades at Gold Hill Elementary, effective at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 1. Students who have not registered by then will attend Tega Cay Elementary beginning Sept. 5.
“The freezes were enacted due to the growing student population numbers as a result of new growth and development in the area,” a district statement reads. “This action was taken to allow class sizes to remain at acceptable levels and not overload the building capacity.”
Students who have to enroll at Tega Cay Elementary will continue to ride their assigned bus to Gold Hill Elementary, according to the district. Shuttle buses will take them to Tega Cay Elementary in the morning and return them to Gold Hill so they can board their assigned buses home.
Tega Cay Elementary is less than 10 minutes from Gold Hill Elementary by car.
Parents who have children already enrolled at Gold Hill Elementary can transfer their older students to Tega Cay Elementary.
“The older student transfer only applies to students who have siblings affected by the freeze,” said Joe Burke, chief communication officer for the district.
For example, parents who have a first-grade student not registered by Aug. 2 who have an older child already enrolled in Gold Hill Elementary may send both students to Tega Cay Elementary, Burke said.
Questions should be directed to Antwon Sutton, coordinator of student services, at 803-548-2527.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082