Public to speak on reassignment

Parents in the Rock Hill school district will have the chance to speak their minds about proposed school reassignment maps at a public hearing Monday night.

The maps were designed to populate Mount Holly Elementary and Dutchman Creek Middle, opening next year, and to alleviate overcrowding at Old Pointe Elementary School and Rock Hill High. There is one map each for elementary, middle and high schools.

"Every time we've done it, we've always given everybody a chance to express their concern about the maps so that we can compile everything and make sure that there was nothing missed in the planning stages," school board Chairman Bob Norwood said.

The maps were designed so that schools would have equal percentages of students with low Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test scores and students on free or reduced lunch. When making the maps, committees factored in growth from planned developments to keep enrollment somewhat even at the schools.

Maps showing the proposed new school assignments are posted in schools, at the district office and on the school district's Web site www.rock-hill.k12.sc.us.

The district has received positive and negative feedback about the maps, Luanne Kokolis, a district associate superintendent, told the school board Monday.

District spokeswoman Elaine Baker said she's not sure how many people will attend Monday's meeting.

"We haven't had a tremendous number of people concerned about it, but you never know," she said.

Hollie Bennett said she'll be among the parents at the forum. Bennett said she'll ask the school board to adjust the middle school attendance boundary near her neighborhood so that children won't go to elementary and middle school with one group and then switch to high school by themselves.

"It would be my desire that they would at least look at children who are being unwittingly but unfairly broken off and not allowed to at least attend schools with some of their peers," she said. "The odds of you getting to have a class or a lunch period with one or two other people who are in your neighborhood -- it's just not going to happen."

The board is not expected to vote on the maps until Oct. 22.

What: Public forum on proposed Rock Hill school reassignment maps

Where: Sullivan Middle School auditorium

When: 6 p.m. Monday