Berkeley Co. Schools face more attendance line challenges with new development

VIDEO: Berkeley Co. Schools face more attendance line challenges with new development

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Berkeley County’s fast-paced growth is causing more challenges for Berkeley County schools.

The PulteGroup plans to open Bradford Pointe in late July. The community of 357 homesites is currently zoned for two different elementary schools in the northeast part of the county.

“Our request to the school board was to adjust the lines so that all of Bradford Pointe can attend Nexton Elementary and is based solely on improving the sense of community we are providing to each of our residents,” said Julie Pulliam, the PulteGroup’s public relations manager.

During the school board meeting on June 11, district leaders said they felt the request was premature.

“I don’t recommend the board commit to a school zone before the first house goes up,” said Superintendent Eddie Ingram. “I think you need to, my recommendation is to, leave your options open. I’m not anti-development or anything like that, but both schools…Nexton is getting quickly crowded. Cane Bane Elementary is already overcrowded.”

The school board made no decisions, but officials said the issue will have to be resolved soon because the attendance lines split some of the property lines within the development.

“I think we need to be a little more cautious before we just say, ‘Hey, fine, y’all go over here,’ and then the next you know we need 50 trailers,” Ingram said.

District leaders are forecasting this new development could bring in about 350 students.

Berkeley County School District is also about to take on about 49 students from a boundary dispute between Dorchester and Berkeley counties.

The issue was settled last November, and the change means about 49 students who were attending DD2 or DD4 schools have now been zoned for Berkeley County schools.

Several of them will be assigned to Cane Bay and Nexton schools, but they will be spread across several grade levels, which school leaders said will help ease the burden on classrooms.

Some parents said they were not happy with the change because they had bought homes in Dorchester County for their children at attend Dorchester County schools.

For Dorchester District Two, an exception will be made for students who will be rising seniors next year. They will be allowed to remain at their current high school to graduate but they must provide their own transportation to and from school.

The change goes into effect for the 2019-2020 school year.

Dorchester District Four representatives have not responded for comment.

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