Education

Fort Mill schools unveil redistricting plans

FORT MILL -- Fort Mill school district officials on Monday night unveiled student reassignment proposals that could potentially shift some 1,300 elementary students from their current schools.

The proposals come as the district prepares to open two new elementaries in August -- Sugar Creek Elementary off Farm House Road and Pleasant Knoll Elementary off Pleasant Road.

Dale Holden, a planning consultant hired by Fort Mill schools to redraw attendance lines, presented three scenarios labeled Option 1, 2 and 3. All three are largely similar, with several key differences.

"They're not cast in stone," Holden said of the options. He told the crowd of more than 200 that public input could shape the final plan.

Sugar Creek Elementary is expected to pull at least 500 students from Springfield Elementary. The number could fluctuate depending on which option is chosen.

In all three scenarios, Pleasant Knoll Elementary would open with 690 students, drawing mostly from Orchard Park Elementary. The Tara Plantation and Tega Cay Village neighborhoods, now assigned to Gold Hill Elementary, also would send their kids Pleasant Knoll.

Under Options 2 and 3, Riverview Elementary would pick up three neighborhoods -- Sutton Place, Willowbrook and Wimbleton Woods -- currently assigned to Orchard Park.

Fort Mill Elementary is not affected by the proposals.

The new schools are intended to relieve crowding at Orchard Park and Springfield elementaries. All of the district's elementary schools are built for 900 students. Orchard Park's attendance zone is crammed with 1,300 students. Springfield has 1,056.

Over the last three years, the district has frozen enrollment at Orchard Park, Gold Hill and Springfield elementaries, respectively. Families who moved to those areas had to send their kids to either Riverview or Fort Mill elementaries. When the new attendance lines take effect in August, the freezes will be lifted.

District officials will take public comments through Oct. 19. The school board is expected to vote on the proposal on Nov. 3.

See the proposals and comment on them at www.fort-mill.k12.sc.us

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