Parents worried changes to Cane Bay schools are not enough to address growing community

VIDEO: Parents worried changes to Cane Bay schools are not enough to address growing community

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Some schools in Cane Bay are struggling to keep up with the growing population of the community.

While leaders are taking action to make sure there’s space for students to learn, some parents are worried these changes are not enough to address the problem.

Cane Bay Middle School and Cane Bay Elementary School are struggling to find space, and it’s impacting teachers, students, and families.

“The moment our teachers walk onto this campus there’s no rest for them,” said Dr. Carol Beckmann-Bartlett, Cane Bay Middle School’s principal.

That’s because 23 of the middle school’s 64 teachers have to float from classroom to classroom, transporting their materials down crowded hallways to borrowed space.

At the elementary school, office spaces and conference rooms have been converted into classrooms, the school has lost two computer labs in recent years and now has six floating teachers.

“We have to consider the number of kids that can successfully be in a classroom environment and continue to learn with that one teacher,” said Melissa LaBerge, Cane Bay Elementary School’s principal.

For now, the district is capping the schools’ capacities to limit how many more students can attend, and starting in January new students will be sent to the Westview schools instead.

Meanwhile, the school board is also considering plans to change the attendance lines for some undeveloped land near Cane Bay.

“This is an issue that they’ve known has been ongoing for ten years, so it’s the reactiveness and now it’s too late,” said Meghan Stevens, a Cane Bay parent."It’s affecting people’s home values. It’s affecting people who are going to be potentially buying into the neighborhood in the future."

Some parents say they have grown frustrated over what they see as a temporary fix to a larger problem.

“You invest your money in these neighborhoods with the intention that you want your kids to go to a good school,” Stevens said.

District leaders have presented plans to build new wings on the schools that will add about a dozen classrooms to each one.

And longer term priorities include the construction of two new middle schools and a new elementary school.

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