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Attendance lines redrawn, again

CLOVER -- Clover School District administrators told residents at four recent public meetings that new attendance line proposals were only that -- proposals. Now, only weeks following those meetings, the plans show different options from what was presented, thanks to community response.

"Our staff has looked at every one of those that came in," said Superintendent Dr. Marc Sosne of the response cards from the meetings held Sept. 25 and 30 in Lake Wylie and Clover. "Some of them did make sense."

During Friday's district workshop the new plan showed four main changes to elementary attendance lines that should not affect the majority of students. In fact, students at Bethany, Bethel and Crowders Creek elementary schools would not see any change. However,the new option is still not final.

"It's just a proposal at this time," said Sosne, who hopes to have a plan set for a board vote Monday.

The largest change is to the Bowling Green area. Students there currently attend Griggs Road Elementary. Now, they would attend Kinard Elementary, not the new elementary school scheduled to open for the 2009-2010 school year on U.S. 321 S. in Clover.

"We don't think any of these changes will make significant changes to the bus routes," said Ken Love, district finance officer.

In the original plan presented in September, all three schools that would feed into Clover Middle School -- Bethany, Kinard and the new elementary school -- would be Title I schools, while the three feeding into the new middle school also opening in 2009 in Lake Wylie -- Crowders Creek, Bethel and Griggs Road -- would not. The new proposal does not change that, but Sosne says it does distribute students better in terms of income and other factors.

"It makes the most sense in creating a better balance of students," he said. "We think this proposal improves the situation without causing undue hardship."

Kinard now would have five fewer students than in the original plan and an estimated 15 fewer students on free and reduced lunch, dropping from 45 percent to 42.8 percent. Griggs Road would have 20 more students with the same number of free and reduced lunch, dropping its rate slightly to 12.6 percent. The new elementary school would add 13 students for free and reduced lunch, increasing 2.5 percent.

The new numbers also reflect the addition of 20 students who were not assigned schools during the original proposal because of software problems.

A main goal in drawing the lines, district leaders say, is keeping each school at or below 80 percent capacity when it opens next year. The new proposal achieves that goal, which is especially important in high-growth areas such as Bethel and Crowders Creek, Sosne said. Bethel would open at 77 percent with 375 students next year. Crowders Creek would open at 71 percent with 924 students.

Parents who want their children to attend schools not mapped out on the final plan may request a hardship in writing that will be evaluated on an individual basis. Space in the requested school grade level and parent-provided transportation would be taken into consideration.

The district also will evaluate its current policy that allows children of district employees to attend schools outside of the ones they would otherwise attend. Currently, 97 students use that benefit.

District officials stress the plan is not final until board approval, which should come Monday. For more information, visit clover2.k12.sc.us.

Where are the changes? • Students in the area of Clinton Dairy Road, Ramble Road, Paul Ford Road, Stanton Circle and Woodstream Road originally were slated for the new elementary school. The new proposal has them attending Griggs Road.

• Students on roads off of New Carriage Road at Main Street in Clover originally were shown going to the new elementary school. The new proposal has them attending Kinard.

• Students in the area west of Green Pond Road originally were set for the new elementary school. The new proposal has them attending Griggs Road.

• Students north of Sherwood Road and Barrett Road originally would have attended Kinard. The new proposal has them attending the new elementary school.

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