Published, Friday, October 8, 2021
Updated, Monday, October 11, 2021
At the September 14, 2021 meeting of the Berkeley County Board of Education Finance and Capital Planning Committee, the Board received information concerning the projected BCSD Membership Forecast. Recommendations to adjust grade configuration and attendance lines were presented to address growth and maximize facility usage in the Berkeley High and Timberland High feeder patterns.
If your child is zoned to attend school in the Berkeley High and Timberland feeder patterns, please review the draft maps of the changes to attendance lines and grade configurations here: https://www.bcsdschools.net/cms/lib/SC01916775/Centricity/Domain/4/Lines_draft_10821.pdf
You can also enter your address here to review the draft changes that may impact your child(ren): https://gis.berkeleycountysc.gov/maps/school_system/future.html
NOTE: These frequently asked questions will be regularly updated as new questions and topics are brought to our attention. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us at email@example.com.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE: These are draft recommendations that must be presented before the Board of Education for approval. The Board has not taken a vote on these draft recommendations at this time. The next meeting of the Board, during which this issue will be discussed, is scheduled for November 9, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. There is a scheduled Board meeting for October 26, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. but the grade configuration and attendance line proposal is not an agenda item for that meeting.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why are these changes being proposed?
Berkeley County is the second-fastest-growing county in South Carolina, new census data has shown. This has had a significant impact on our schools as the growth is centralized, currently, in certain pockets, which has resulted in overcrowding in some area schools. This proposal addresses facility utilization by optimizing space for efficient use of the buildings to reduce overcrowding in existing schools.
As the county will continue to see an increase in growth for many years to come, BCSD is committed to being a good steward of taxpayer funding and providing efficient transportation for our students and families. These changes will assist us by maximizing facility usage, before investing in new construction, and will better support the transportation routing system.
How will these changes affect Berkeley Elementary and Berkeley Intermediate?
The current proposal for Berkeley Elementary and Berkeley Intermediate includes grade configuration changes and attendance lines changes affecting both schools. Berkeley Elementary currently serves students in grades pre-k through second. Berkeley Intermediate currently serves students in grades third through fifth, and houses the Head Start program. This proposal will modify grade configurations at both schools. If approved, Berkeley Elementary and Berkeley Intermediate will both serve students in grades pre-k through fifth grade.
Attendance lines will also be impacted in the Moncks Corner area as these grade configuration changes will result in two pre-K - fifth grade schools, and all students living north of the Tailrace Canal are proposed to attend schools in the H.E. Bonner Elementary, Macedonia Middle and Timberland High feeder pattern. Please review the maps carefully to see which school(s) your child(ren) will attend in August 2022.
I am unfamiliar with H.E. Bonner Elementary, Macedonia Middle and Timberland High. What can you tell me about the schools and how can I learn more?
H.E. Bonner Elementary is a partial-magnet school for the arts. Similar to the Goose Creek area’s Howe Hall AIMS, H.E. Bonner Elementary provides students with an arts-enriched learning environment. Learn more about H. E. Bonner’s arts education journey here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urKU4RQkoeg&t=117s
Macedonia Middle focuses their students’ educational journeys on creativity. This middle school boasts a positive school climate and culture, commitment to academic excellence, and innovative student learning activities, to include the District’s first virtual learning lab. Learn more about Macedonia Middle here: https://youtu.be/m9Hmy5NsmnAlist=PLmWekp_RwATJY8HR6tmYdlUFItq5hFz_5
Timberland High has received multi-year recognition by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best High Schools. As the District’s only Early College High School, students can begin dual credit courses as early as 9th grade. Learn more about Timberland High here: https://youtu.be/GrdZDPQuNYs
We encourage families who will be joining these schools in August 2022, to reach out to the administrators to set up a time to tour the schools and learn more about them.
My child(ren) previously attended Foxbank Elementary/Cane Bay Middle/Cane Bay High, and are now proposed to be zoned for Whitesville Elementary, Berkeley Middle and Berkeley High. What can you tell me about the schools and how can I learn more?
Whitesville Elementary is committed to offering students hand-on, personalized learning opportunities. Home to the District’s only Montessori program, Whitesville teachers and staff aim to engage students in the learning process through exploration and innovation. Learn more about Whitesville Elementary here:
Berkeley Middle is the largest middle school in the county, with an award winning Unified Education program. In recent years, Berkeley Middle became a Jostens Renaissance School designed to inspire, motivate and renew a climate and culture of character. Learn more about Berkeley Middle School’s Unified program here: https://youtu.be/FGz9oQqWjjYlist=PLmWekp_RwATKdzDiqBXNvpCsdxdoXrRaA
Berkeley High School is the oldest school in the county, rich in history and tradition. Known for their academic and athletic success, Berkeley High also promotes a culture of inclusion for all students and is a strong supporter of the Special Olympics and Berkeley County Unified programs. Watch as students excitedly sent off their classmates to the District’s 2019 Special Olympics competition:
We encourage families who will be joining these schools in August 2022, to reach out to the administrators to set up a time to tour the schools and learn more about them.
Will these changes impact my child if they will be a senior in August 2022 on track to graduate with their class?
The District has an established process to confirm and recognize students with senior status. Please contact the BCSD Office of Pupil Services at 843-899-8266 for more information.
Will there be academic program exceptions, athletic exceptions or sibling exceptions?
The District will not provide any blanket exceptions to the changes, if approved by the Board. Families are welcome to file attendance appeals with the BCSD Office of Pupil Services. Attendance appeals are determined considering evidence of family and/or student hardship factors.
If my child is already established in an academic or athletic program and/or the school my child is zoned for does not offer their academic or athletic program, would my child be considered for an attendance appeal?
There is a process to address concerns such as these through attendance appeals. Please contact the BCSD Office of Pupil Services 843-899-8266.
Will these attendance line changes positively impact transportation services?
We do anticipate that these changes will have a very positive impact on transportation. At this time, BCSD buses pass by schools with capacity to transport students to school over the Tailrace bridge and across town to Highway 6 (ex: Passing Bonner Elem and transporting to Berkeley Elem). BCSD is also transporting elementary age students in the same household to two different schools across town (ex: Berkeley Elementary second grader and Berkeley Intermediate third grader from the same home). Following natural boundary lines, adjusting grade configurations and maximizing school capacities will help improve the efficiency of the transportation system.
What are the current utilization percentages of impacted schools? The forecast information below is based on current attendance zones and does not include the proposed changes. The proposed changes are targeted to relieve schools that are above, at or nearing capacity and utilize space at schools with capacity to accommodate additional students in neighboring communities.
Utilization* in these schools
- Berkeley ES
- 60% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 76% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Berkeley Intermediate
- 61% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 84% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Berkeley MS
- 84% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 96% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Berkeley HS
- 82% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 94% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Cane Bay MS
- 101% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 154% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Cane Bay HS
- 89% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 104% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Foxbank ES
- 102% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 125% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- H. E .Bonner ES
- 69% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 66% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Macedonia MS
- 50% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 51% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Timberland HS
- 48% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 50% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
- Whitesville ES
- 69% as of Day-135 2020-21
- 92% forecasted Day-135 2030-31
* Utilization = students / calculated capacity. Mobile classrooms are not included.
Why was the Tailrace Canal selected as a boundary separating two attendance zones?
When establishing attendance lines, officials look at natural and manmade boundaries, and existing property lines. This is to help ensure that boundary lines do not appear to be arbitrarily selected. The Tailrace Canal is a natural boundary that is easily recognizable and understood.
What should I do if I discover my child is zoned for elementary and secondary schools in different feeder patterns?
This should not be an issue families identify; however, if you do discover this when checking your address in the BC GIS attendance zone service, please contact the BCSD Pupil Services Office at 843-899-8266. The BC GIS attendance zone service, which includes these proposed changes, can be found here: https://gis.berkeleycountysc.gov/maps/school_system/future.html
What data was collected and analyzed to support the proposed attendance line changes and drafts? What else do you consider when determining school attendance boundaries when rezoning campuses?
The District contracts with Numerix Solutions, LLC to support GIS and demographic analysis, mathematical modeling, membership forecasting and assignment planning. District leaders and Numerix use a variety of tools to develop growth management plans such as GIS planning data and residential growth potential. Additionally, future area developments and projected enrollments are also considered. Best efforts are made to limit future redrawing of attendance lines; however, as Berkeley County continues to grow, additional attendance line changes may be considered to maximize capacity at existing schools and to support construction of new schools, such as the K-8 school currently under construction in the Carnes Crossroads area.
To view the Membership Forecast presentation from the September 14 public meeting of the Board, please click here: http://go.boarddocs.com/sc/berkeley/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=C6MRP56B6BB5
How do I find out if I live in an area that could be rezoned?
Please review the proposed maps emailed to you and posted here. You can also utilize the BC GIS attendance zone service, which includes these proposed changes, here: https://gis.berkeleycountysc.gov/maps/school_system/future.html
Please remember that this is a draft. All changes must be approved by the Board of Education.
How soon is the Board expected to vote on and potentially approve these proposed changes?
The first reading of these proposed changes will take place during the November 9 meeting of the Board of Education.
Will I have an opportunity to review these maps in person?
Yes, BCSD has planned the following opportunities for communities to review the proposed changes:
- October 21 at 6 pm, Berkeley Middle School
- November 2 at 6 pm, Whitesville Elementary School
- November 8 at 6 pm, Macedonia Middle School
When will these proposed changes go into effect?
If approved by the Board of Education, students will attend schools according to these attendance lines in August 2022.
How do I file an attendance appeal?
For information concerning attendance appeals, please contact the BCSD Pupil Services Office at 843-899-8266. We do encourage families to reach out to the school administrators to set up a time to tour the schools and learn more about them before filing attendance appeals. Attendance appeals are determined considering family and/or student hardship factors.
- Berkeley ES
As the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) works to track cases of COVID-19 across the state, there is an understandable delay in reporting confirmed cases in public schools. Berkeley County School District is committed to providing stakeholders with accurate and timely information so the BCSD COVID-19 Case Dashboard has been updated to reflect the number of confirmed cases reported directly to Berkeley County School District. These numbers will be updated every business day to provide our community with a more accurate accounting of confirmed cases in Berkeley County schools.
At the regular meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday, October 27, the Board approved revisions to the Berkeley County School District (BCSD) instructional calendar to add four half-day virtual instructional program (VIP) days for students. Teachers will use the second half of those four days as workdays.
On these VIP days, students will be learning from home independently for half of the day. All student assignments will be loaded to Google Classroom and/or other learning management systems by 7 a.m.
BCSD half-day VIP/teacher workdays
- Thursday, November 12, 2020
- Monday, December 7, 2020
- Tuesday, December 22, 2020
- Monday, May 10, 2021
To further support students, each teacher will set office hours that are posted or will be posted in Google Classroom and/or other learning management systems.
Much like the eLearning days of the 2019-20 school year, teachers will have the flexibility to use time not spent assisting students to work in their classrooms, with their teams or participate in personal professional development.
Again, this is a remote learning day, and all students will be learning from home independently.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child's school.
The purpose of this site is to share information for parents to understand the different technologies being used for instruction as well as provide tips for troubleshooting when tech challenges arise.
About 85 percent of textile waste ends up in landfills where it occupies unnecessary landfill space.
These were textiles that had the opportunity to be recycled but were not.
The reason they do not get recycled is because of a lack of a convenient place to donate textiles.
Residents might notice bright green bins on the property of some schools in Berkeley County School District, provided by a franchise called Clothes Bins, where families can actually recycle old textiles.
The result is threefold with Clothes Bins: textiles get reused as inventory at local businesses, the recycling efforts actually raise money for BCSD schools, and the overall initiative produces a greener option for what residents can do with old clothes.
Textiles include clothing, outerwear, footwear, undergarments, accessories, handbags and linens – these are all things that can go into the bins.
Chad Boariu, director of marketing and training for Clothes Bin, said the franchise is the first clothing/textile recycling franchise in the nation.
The bins are unlike anything else out there. They are equipped with sensory technology inside the bins that alerts Clothes Bins when they are about to be filled up and need servicing – very similar to a vending machine, he said. This technology is called BLIP – Bin Location Information Program – which monitors each bin and alerts the franchisee whenever a bin approaches its capacity and needs to be serviced.
Clothes Bins is in about 15 states, and there are individual schools as well as full districts that have contracted a bin.
BCSD schools with a bin receive multiple benefits: one is it shows the district believes in a green program, and another is individual schools being able to show the overall impact of recycling as a whole.
“You are able to show how you give back to the community,” Boariu said.
Boariu said Clothes Bins’s biggest takeaway is just from the landfill – “we’re trying to make that smaller,” he said.
The schools get paid per pound of everything recycled in the bin, and that is where the fundraising comes in; they receive seven cents per pound that goes back into the school. The bins can hold 600 pounds, so a school could potentially make about $42 every time the bin reaches capacity.
Schools use the money for different items; some of the money is used as “cushion” money while others may go toward the school’s PTO (see the full list of schools with a bin below).
The clothes provided into the Clothes Bins go on to provide inventory for local thrift stores – which is where the recycling part comes in.
“Our biggest thing is there’s always another use,” Boariu said. “Once it goes into a landfill, that’s it.”
Many of BCSD’s schools fall into the territory of Mary Anna Lewis, owner of Lowcountry Textile Recycling. A majority of the schools within the territory were offered a bin, and the first set of bins were set up in May 2019.
Lewis stressed that these clothes are recycled to help local businesses.
“It’s recycling. It’s (being) stewards of the community, it’s fundraising for the schools,” she said.
Boariu and Lewis said they are not discouraging residents from donating used clothes to charities of their choice, but the Clothes Bins model is one that results in a direct effect on the students and administration in that particular school.
A lot of the clothes collected also go to impoverished areas of other countries, like the Dominican Republican and Uganda, where locals can sell the items in their own markets.
“It’s going to third-world countries to marketplace vendors who are feeding their families off of reselling this stuff,” Lewis said.
Clothes Bins has also previously gone into schools to promote the educational aspect of it to students, to show them how they can create business partnerships to help the earth and also provide jobs for families.
BCSD schools use the funds they receive for different items. Hanahan High Principal Tom Gallus said his school puts it in its miscellaneous activity account and use it for supplies for staff and students.
“If there is a student in need, we will use this account to supply them with supplies,” he said.
Whitesville Elementary Principal Katie Taie said her school has been very happy with Clothes Bins. The school uses the funds to supplement field trip costs for parents, and for providing arts performances and enrichment activities for students. The PTO receives the funds and then provides financial support for those experiences.
Whitesville reminds parents through social media and Blackboard to “clean out” their closets when school administration notices upcoming teacher requests.
“Clothes Bin has benefited our school the most by allowing us to decrease the amount of money that we ask parents to spend for additional activities,” Taie said. “Over the past couple of years, we saw a substantial increase in the cost of buses for field experiences and needed to find a way to supplement that burden for our parents.”
Sangaree Elementary Principal Tara Baker said the school has raised a little less than $100 and all funds right now are in the school’s business partner account. She plans to put out a blurb to remind families to provide textiles if they can.
“We would love to raise more (money) to purchase additional personalized learning materials,” she said.
Schools with a bin
Boulder Bluff Elementary
Bowens Corner Elementary
Cane Bay Elementary
Cane Bay High
Cane Bay Middle
College Park Elementary
College Park Middle
Goose Creek Elementary
Goose Creek High
Philip Simmons Elementary
Philip Simmons High
Philip Simmons Middle
We are excited to highlight another a BCSD Innovative Educator, Wendy Garrett, a 6th grade teacher at Berkeley Middle School! Ms. Garrett loves creating lessons that allow her students to take ownership in their learning.
Published on Monday, April 6, 2020
BCSD provided photo
Amy Adams, a seventh-grade science teacher at Berkeley Middle, has been named the Jostens Renaissance National Staffulty Member of the Month for April 2020.
The recognition is for a deserving staff or faculty member who has made an impact within their school or community through Jostens Renaissance, according to a press release.
Jostens Renaissance is a program that focuses on recognizing students and staff. The core of the program revolves around the five R’s: what you Respect, Reward, Recognize and Reinforce, equals Results.
As a former chemist who has served in different positions throughout the area, teaching was a career change for Adams, but in 2017 she bit the bullet and is now in her third year teaching.
Adams said the Renaissance program is designed to change the climate and culture of a school. Berkeley Middle is in its first year implementing the program’s standards.
“Everything we do, we try to make sure it incorporates those traits,” she said.
The press release stated Adams was selected based on her exceptional dedication and commitment to the values of Berkeley Middle and Jostens Renaissance. She has led the efforts to ensure that the climate and culture within the building are focused around the success of all students and staff.
Adams credited the success of this year’s program to her school’s teachers and administration who make up the Renaissance team.
“We have a really good team to accomplish what we want to accomplish,” she said.
Principal Mike Wilkerson said in an e-mail Adams has worked to form a Renaissance Club on campus and planned many Renaissance activities including a school-wide “Kindness Day”, which consisted of activities designed to encourage kindness, compassion and acceptance among all students.
“Her work has resulted in many positive changes to our school culture,” he said.
Adams was nominated by eighth-grade science teacher Larsen Tedder, with whom she works closely and is part of the team as well.
The press release included Tedder’s nomination letter: “Ms. Adams has spent countless hours working to make Renaissance successful in our school. Her attention to detail is like no other and she is the most helpful and positive person I have ever had the pleasure of working with. My favorite event that Amy helped host was a ‘Kindness Day.’ During this day, we changed the whole school schedule and allowed students to attend different sessions. There were discussions about disabilities, obstacles, and overcoming it all. I have never been more proud to be a Berkeley Middle School Buck.”
Tedder said she nominated Adams because “she has been the most amazing coworker I've ever had.”
“Although she was finishing the PACE program and raising four kids, she still made time to help make sure this program succeeded,” Tedder said in an e-mail. “The kids love and respect her – she's the perfect balance.”
Tedder said in four months, Adams raised $5,000 for the school’s program and helped host many events.
“If you ask her, she'd say that I'm the brains of the program but she is truly the workforce,” Tedder said. “She helps me take my ideas and move them to a reality. All that she truly wants is for Berkeley Middle to be the best school possible and she wants ALL students to be recognized. I could not be more grateful for her.”
Adams said Tedder is very deserving of the recognition as well.
“It is nice, but I really do feel like we’re a team,” she said.
With students doing virtual learning while the schools are closed, Adams said she misses her students.
“I miss them incredibly,” she said. “The vast majority of them just want to come back.”
Adams is being showcased in the national Jostens Renaissance newsletter and on the website (https://www.jostensrenaissance.com/amyadams) and will receive several items of recognition.
Join the professionals on our transportation team. As a team member you will be an important part of the education process. If you are 18 years of age and have a high school diploma/GED you can become a bus driver or assistant. Make a difference in education. Bus drivers and bus assistants are key to our students’ success. We are focused on safety, and we’ll train you!
School bus drivers must pass a rigorous background investigation including a SLED check and a DMV records check. School bus drivers must obtain and maintain a commercial driver’s license with passenger and federal school bus endorsements. They are also required to complete 20 hours of classroom instruction and pass a State Department of Education certification exam. As a part of their training, drivers also complete many hours of on the road training and pass a rigorous driving evaluation. Each driver must pass a physical performance test and is subject to random monthly drug screening. Annually, drivers attend a minimum of 15 hours of training to maintain their proficiency.
For employment information contact Ms. Lachell Griffin at (843) 899-8725. Applicants can fill out an online application.
Berkeley County School District is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities.
For bus driver training information contact:
Lachell Griffin - Training and Safety Supervisor
PO. Box 608
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Published September 27, 2019
Berkeley Middle's Unified P.E. class concluded a week of knot-tying with a fishing trip. Officers from the Moncks Corner Police Department joined them for the fun.
Shayla Lewis makes good grades, stays out of trouble and has an overall positive outlook on life. She admits, things haven't always been that way.
She was heavily involved in Berkeley Middle School's unified program last year, and she says her experience in the program changed her life.
Shayla now has a dream of becoming a special education teacher, and she's dedicated herself to promoting inclusion among students.