CCSD looking at combining three N. Charleston elementary schools, building new middle school

Published: Oct. 7, 2019 at 6:19 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District is looking at making a number of changes to its schools in North Charleston.

It’s all part of a plan, which is only a recommendation at this point, that would combine Lambs Elementary, Hunley Park Elementary, and W.B. Goodwin Elementary into a new school built on the Lambs Elementary campus.

“A lot of families in that neighborhood really don’t have cars, so a neighborhood school is convenient for them where if you’re going to combine schools and put it in one section, you may be taking a family that was walking to school at Mary Ford, they might not be able to walk to where you place the new schools,” community activist Elvin Speights said.

Hunley Park or Goodwin would then be converted into an early education center.

“Goodwin’s sits right there in a great place on Dorchester Road," Speights said. "If you live of off Bream Road and stuff, that school’s great. A lot of kids that go to Goodwin Elementary walk. So if you’re going to close their school, now we’re back to the same picture. They don’t have a neighborhood school they have to go up the road. Well, that sounds great, but we know how the buses have been with Durham, so don’t tell me the buses are going to fix it.”

The plan would also convert Mary Ford Elementary into an early education center as early as the next school year. The students at Mary Ford, in turn, would be rezoned to Meeting Street Burns and Chicora Elementary.

The proposed plan also recommends building a new middle school to replace Morningside Middle. A new Ladson Elementary School would also be built, and the current facility would be turned into an early education center.

“If you’re going to give Morningside a new school, I’m all for that," Speights said. "The question is, is that’s what’s going to be done or are we going to make a new middle school and separate Morningside and just send them to different schools?”

As for magnet schools in this part of the district, North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary would keep its magnet status for those within the attendance zone and those outside the zone would be grandfathered in. If extra magnet seats were available, they would be given out after an application process.

Jerry Zucker Middle School of Science would lose its partial magnet status should this plan be approved. Its specialized programs related to science would continue.

Some CCSD District 4 parents are expected to attend Monday night’s listening session with the school district’s board. It starts at 6 p.m. at North Charleston High School. Other listening sessions are scheduled around the county through the end of the month. The full list can be found here.

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