Board near OK of school maps

After giving proposed school reassignment maps another look Monday night, the Rock Hill school board appears poised to approve the maps at its next meeting.

The reassignment, which would affect more than 3,000 elementary, middle and high school students, is needed to fill Mount Holly Elementary and Dutchman Creek Middle schools, opening next year, and to ease overcrowding at Rock Hill High and Old Pointe Elementary.

Chairman Bob Norwood told board members that he hoped they would leave Monday's meeting with an idea about what maps they would support.

As in past meetings, the board spent the most time talking about the attendance zone for Belleview Elementary School.

Board members have struggled to find a way to keep Belleview's attendance numbers up and its subsidized lunch and low test scores numbers even with other schools without upsetting parents who don't want to move their children there.

The current problem is an area that now attends Oakdale but was switched into the Belleview zone at the board's last meeting.

"Everybody's got heartburn at different places. This is where mine is right here," Norwood said, pointing to the area on the border of the Oakdale and Belleview attendance zones.

The board ultimately decided to stick with the proposal as it now stands, with the segment assigned to Oakdale moving to Belleview. That map has been posted at the district office and online, and families whose attendance zones have changed during this process were notified by a Connect-ED phone call.

The only school rezoning map change made Monday night was at the high school level. That change will leave three segments at Rock Hill High instead of moving students who live in those areas to South Pointe.

The switch was made so middle and high school attendance zones in that area would align, which would cut down on the number of buses serving those neighborhoods.

"To me it just doesn't make sense to run two buses in that area," board member Walter Brown said, noting that the change will allow the same buses to serve middle and high schools that are close together.

Families in those areas will receive a Connect-ED call before the next board meeting Nov. 26.

The board is expected to vote on the map proposals at that meeting.