Horry County Schools to hold public meetings for new school atte - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Horry County Schools to hold public meetings for new school attendance zones

(Source: Horry County Schools) (Source: Horry County Schools)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Below are the times, dates and locations for the public meetings. The meetings are to discuss attendance zone changes for the five new Horry County schools.  The five schools are being built to address overcrowding in Horry County schools.

Horry County Schools encourages parents and families of students to attend the meetings for suggestions.  The district will take the proposals to the Board of Education based on the comments and suggestions received from Horry County parents. Right now, HCS officials say the meetings haven't been that well attended.

You can view the attendance zone proposals here.  The point of the new schools is to reduce overcrowding for a better education.  The new Socastee elementary will replace the existing old elementary school beside Socastee High.  The current Socastee elementary kids will move right in to the new building on Socastee Boulevard.

Also to help overcrowding, there's a proposal to move some students from the Lakewood Elementary attendance zone to Socastee's.  A similar proposal is in place to move some students from Forestbrook Middle to Socastee's new middle school being built on Esso Road as well.

Horry County school planner Kathy Johnson said these are exciting changes.  She said the county will expect a lot from these schools down the road, but for now, figuring out who goes where is a challenge.

"This is going to be a process.  So, we definitely would like the parents to give their input to this.  Recognizing that we are going to have to move some students to the news schools.  But this is a public process and, so we invite parents and anyone else interested to give input," Johnson said.

The new schools are Socastee Elementary School (4223 Socastee Blvd.), Socastee area Middle School (151 Esso Road), St. James area Intermediate School (grades 5 and 6 only, 9641 Scipio Lane), Carolina Forest area Middle School (150 Revolutionary War Way) and Myrtle Beach Middle School.  

Myrtle Beach Intermediate School is planned to move in to the existed Myrtle Beach Middle School building.  The middle school will move in to the new building, currently in construction next to Pepper Geddings Recreation Center at 3101 North Oak Street.  The old intermediate school building will be used for adult education and programs previously located at the Myrtle Beach Family Learning Center.

All five schools are on schedule to be open for the 2017-2018 school year, Johnson said.  However, not all are officially named.  

Carolina Forest's new middle school will cause the most attendance zone changes, Johnson said.  The new school is being built to answer to the area's population surge in recent years.  The new middle school will draw kids from Ocean Bay Middle.  

The new Carolina Forest school will have a capacity of 1,200 students, 300 more than Ocean Bay Middle's capacity. 
 
Johnson explained how the district will decide the new attendance zones.  "We actually look at the number of students that are residing in a certain area and then we also look at the student population forecast, where we think the growth is going to go in Horry County.  So we use that information to try to design the new attendance zones and we try very hard not to split neighborhoods.  So we're taking a lot of things in to consideration," she said.

The meetings will include detailed maps and show the neighborhoods with the biggest school changes.  HCS officials will be there for comments and questions.  Suggestions are encouraged, Johnson said.  After the public meetings, administration will meet and take the final decisions to the Horry County Board of Education for finalization.  Johnson said HCS plans to have the finalized attendance zones by December of this year.

Here is a list of public meetings with date, time and location.

Tuesday, July 19:

  • Forestbrook Middle at Forestbrook Middle, 5-7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 20:

  • Forestbrook Elementary at Forestbrook Elementary, 5-7 p.m.

Thursday, July 21:

  • Carolina Forest Elementary, River Oaks Elementary, Ocean Bay Elementary, Ocean Bay Middle at River Oaks Elementary, 5-7 p.m.

Monday, July 25:

  • Lakewood Elementary at Lakewood Elementary, 5-7 p.m.

Thursday, July 28:

  • Socastee Elementary at Socastee Elementary, 5-7 p.m.

Public and all parents are invited to attend to view maps, changes to their school attendance zones, comments and suggestions. The meetings are drop-in style. If you can't attend, you can visit Horry County Schools website here or give them a call at 843-488-6700.

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