Horry Co. decides against adding on to Ocean Bay Middle School

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - There are new details on the latest plan to solve overcrowding issues in the Horry County School District. The new recommendation is called "grade configuration," and will change the grade levels for elementary and middle schools in Carolina Forest.

With this plan, it will keep students in elementary school for another year. The move would put elementary grades as Pre-K through 6th grade at Carolina Forest Elementary School, Ocean Bay Elementary School, and River Oaks Elementary School. Then it would leave the middle schools for 7th and 8th graders. WMBF News talked with Horry County School Board Chair Joe Defeo, and he says there is enough room to keep the 6th grade students, because the amount of students at the grade level is a little more than 100 at each school. During the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night, discussions arose concerning the "new" 6th graders not being eligible to take electives, as they normally can at the current middle schools- such as band, orchestra or keyboard class.

There are also some recommended realignment changes: Students living North and West of Gardner Lacy Road and Myrtle Ridge Drive will go to Palmetto Bays Elementary and Black Water Middle School.

One of the biggest concerns for the school board is the overcrowding in classrooms at Ocean Bay Middle School.  A motion was passed Monday night against building a multi-million dollar idea to add a 26,000 square-foot addition and renovation to the school, as well as 24 new classrooms to the school. The latest district numbers show that there are more than 1,000 students walking in to Ocean Bay Middle School every day, which is about 20 percent more than what the district would like. But,

The committee of the whole met Monday night at 6 p.m. The committee passed the motion against the addition to Ocean Bay Middle School. The committee also asked the sub-committee's to research the most recent statistics and data concerning district's forecasts for the next ten years.  The school board is working toward making the final vote and decision on what's the best option, but Chairman Joe Defeo said it's hard to tell when final votes will be made on any of the proposals discussed. Defeo said it's crucial final decisions are made prior to February.

"If it doesn't pass by January you can not go into February. February we have to have our allocations and our staffing all done," Defeo said.

Below is a link to documents on the new plan:

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