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Attendance lines proposed for Carolyn Lewis School; Community meetings scheduled

Published Friday, September 16, 2022

A first reading on attendance zones for the K-8 school scheduled to open next year in the Carnes Crossroads area was held at the September 13 meeting of the Berkeley County Board of Education.

The scheduled 2022-2023 opening of Carolyn Lewis School is expected to have an impact on attendance lines in the Nexton area, Cane Bay area, Devon Forest area and Sangaree area. Depending on the final decisions of the board, there could be some impact on the College Park area.

Michael Miller of Numerix Solutions presented the board with three options/scenarios that he said, based on data and research, would help manage some challenges presented by rapid growth in Berkeley County but would not be a permanent solution to growth in the area as the student population forecast in impacted areas shows a continuous increase in students each year, for several years. 

“I think it helps to kind of get a handle on how these areas are growing,” Miller said.  Cane Bay Elementary school is expected to grow by about 10-12 utilization points per year – about 120 kids per year. This is based on the forecast that was produced last spring.”

Miller also said Cane Bay Middle is expected to see growth of about 6-9 utilization points per year (approximately 70 students per year) and Nexton Elementary could see growth around 5-7 utilization points per year (approximately 50 students per year). Sangaree schools are forecast to see slight growth or flat growth for the next 3-4 years.

“According to the day-10 numbers that we just received, the forecast appears to be right on target,” Miller said. “So, the numbers we are using for the scenarios are tracking just fine.”

When considering the three options presented, Mr. Miller encouraged board members to utilize data on school utilization in their decision-making process. In the case of Cane Bay Elementary, the school was already at 131 percent utilization (instructional capacity) for the 2021-2022 school year. When the new school opens, it will bring some relief to Cane Bay Elementary, but not much.

All three options will only bring CBE down to approximately 128-129 percent utilization for the 2023-24 school year. The following year (2024-2025), the school is expected to again see substantial growth that would put it at as much as 137 percent utilization.

“We are getting some relief. It (the new school) is needed, but there is more growth coming,” Miller said.

After several minutes of discussion, the board passed a first reading that would combine elements of Scenario B and Scenario C as presented by Mr. Miller. 

Prior to the second reading on the attendance zones set for October 11, there will be drop-in community input meetings. The schedule of those meetings is listed below the links to view Scenario A, Scenario B and Scenario C as presented by Mr. Miller.

Complete Presentation  |  Scenario A  |  Scenario B  |  Scenario C | Watch Video

Drop-in Community Input Meetings

  • Thursday, September 22, 2022
    • Cane Bay Elementary School at 6 pm
  • Monday, September 26, 2022
    • Devon Forest Elementary School at 6 pm