School leaders receive input on zoning lines

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stefan Rogenmoser/Gazette -- Debra Simmons (left) speaks with BSCD Superintendent Rodney Thompson (right) about new zoning at Goose Creek Primary as her son Devin Simmons waits patiently. --

There was some disagreement among community members, but the feedback was mostly positive as close to 200 citizens attended a public input session at Goose Creek Primary School off Foster Creek Road last week.
The Berkeley County School District held the session in an open house format to tell parents and others how it plans to rezone students at GCPS and Sedgefield Intermediate School in the 2015-16 school year.
Those two schools will become Kindergarten – fifth-grade elementary schools in 2015, changing from the current format of K4 – second grade, and third – fifth-grade at the respective schools.
The addition of a new school in Tanner Plantation / Foster Creek area will also affect zoning of GCPS and SIS.
There were four stations with each showing the same two maps in the GCPS multi-purpose room.
Debra Simmons said her son Devin Simmons, 6, attends GCPS and will attend Boulder Bluff Elementary under the proposed rezoning.
“We’re happy with the fact we’re going to Boulder Bluff Elementary,” Simmons said. “He would have gone to Sedgefield Intermediate. That school will become an elementary school and so will Goose Creek Primary.”
BCSD Deputy Superintendent Archie Franchini took a break from speaking to parents to say the change from primary and intermediate schools to K-5 elementary schools will cut down on the transitions students have.
“There is more continuity as far as instruction is concerned,” Franchini said. “It will shorten the route to school. It will decrease the chance of parents having students in more than one school and it will create more of a neighborhood school feel.
“For the most part parents have been positive (tonight.) Some are concerned about property value.”
Resident Jim Rowan said there is a marsh where the new school is set to be built. While he does not have any children attending school he said he is concerned about traffic problems a new school will cause in the Ibis Glade neighborhood, specifically for those homes on Cooper’s Hawk Drive.
“It’s a really bad idea,” Rowan said. “It’s going to be a traffic nightmare on Tanner Ford Boulevard and the Foster Creek Road intersection. They’re going to have kids come in and out of school when people are going to work. You won’t be able to get in or out of the neighborhood.”
“What the district is looking at is wanting parents and community members to give us feedback so we can change as needed,” BCSD Public Information Officer Susan Haire said.
Superintendent Rodney Thompson said most of the feedback was positive but added some homeowners voiced their concerns, which will help the district make a more informed decision.
“Parents have been very supportive,” Thompson said. “This is a proposed location. We’ve got the architect selected.”
Patrick and Ayesha Johnson stopped by with their two children Mekhi Johnson, 7, and Malia Johnson, 3.
“I’m happy with (the changes) being that I have children attending school at a young age,” Mr. Johnson said. “Attending a new school is exciting. Hopefully it will pan out well.”

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