By Christine Jeanné for The Island Eye News
After months of consideration, the East Cooper District 2 Constituent School Board is slated to decide new zoning lines for Moultrie Middle School when it meets this Wednesday, with one proposal splitting off Isle of Palms students and sending them to Laing Middle School of Science and Technology.
The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at Laing Middle School with time for public comment.
The District 2 Constituent Board held several meetings through the spring on this issue and considered a series of proposals, with three currently left to balance the expansion of Moultrie Middle School, which is scheduled to be complete in August 2019. Three hundred additional student seats will be added, increasing capacity from 900 students to 1,200 students.
District 2 Constituent School Board Member Trey Tezza states, “The school district is expanding Moultrie Middle School to add 300 additional seats, and the District 2 Constituent Board is tasked with rezoning schools to fill those new seats. The new attendance lines will be finalized soon and will go into effect for the 2019-2020 school year.
“The expansion of Moultrie Middle is one of the school district’s capital program projects that was approved by voters in the 2014 penny sales tax referendum,” adds Tezza, who represents Sullivan’s Island on the board.
District 2 Board Chair Sarah Johnson states, “As we develop new attendance lines for Moultrie Middle, we consider factors such as student enrollment, school capacities, traffic patterns, and community input.
“After the Moultrie lines have been finalized, we will begin work on rezoning for Beckham High School which will open for the 2020-2021 school year.”
Currently, the Moultrie Middle School attendance zone includes students from Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island, as well as students coming from James B. Edwards Elementary and Mount Pleasant Academy. There are three proposed rezoning options for the CCSD District 2. The options include C, D1 and D2.
Proposal C shows the continuation of all Sullivan’s Elementary School students attending Moultrie Middle School.
Proposed map D1 also shows the continuation of all Sullivan’s Island Elementary students attending Moultrie Middle School. Proposal C and D1 are similar for Sullivan’s Island Elementary Students.
Proposal D2 is the attendance zone that would most impact Sullivan’s Island Elementary School students as this map has Sullivan’s Island resident students attending Moultrie Middle and Isle of Palms resident students attending Laing Middle School.
“We should all be fighting for the East Cooper Islands to stay together at Moultrie Middle School,” says Susan Hill Smith, an Isle of Palms parent and city councilmember. “To me, it’s hard to imagine anyone supporting a plan that separates island kids by design after fifth-grade graduation at Sullivan’s Island Elementary School.
“Beyond that, keeping island kids together at Moultrie just makes good sense. Island families benefit from having their elementary and middle schools close together, not at opposite ends as would be the case for Isle of Palms if our kids were switched back to Laing Middle School, which is now farther north up Highway 17. And if Isle of Palms is zoned for Laing for middle school, we will almost certainly stay at Wando High School despite our lengthy commute times and the fact that the new high school will be much closer.”
Questions and concerns can be communicated to the District 2 Constituent School Board Members, whose contact info can be found here. Charleston County School District has also set up an information page on the rezoning with maps and an FAQ.