Dorchester Council considers amending passed budget to give DD2 more funds

The Dorchester District 2 Board of Trustees held a meeting on Tuesday January 7th to address the overcrowding at problems at Dubose Middle School and Joseph Pye Elementary School.

The school district explained that they have made steps to try and open up as much classroom space as possible. Technology as become more available to students through tablets and laptops and also outdoor learning spaces have been built at schools throughout the district.

Superintendent Joseph Pye explained that the rapid growth in the area is causing issues with the schools through influx of students and overcrowding. He explained that the growth in the area is causing trouble for the schools.

"We have to address this," Pye said. "In Summerville, you're either rapidly growing or built out."

Dubose Middle School is currently home to 1310 students and is over the capacity for the amount that the school can comfortably house. The students are using all of the classroom space at the school as well as outdoor learning cottages.

The rezoning will send 180 students from Dubose Middle School to Alston-Bailey Middle School.

The students who will be selected are students who live in the areas which are the most reasonable for the change according to the school district. As lines currently are drawn the students who currently attend Alston-Bailey Elementary attend Dubose Middle School and the rezoning will instead just move to the middle school.

Rising 8th graders have the option to stay at Dubose, however any siblings of those rising 8th graders must change schools as part of the rezoning.

Rick Harrison explained that moving the students will eventually be moved to a new middle school when one is built so the move is inevitable whether it is now or later.

"That change is gonna happen its just a matter of its we're gonna do it now or in the future," Harrison explained.

Harrison also said that moving students from Dubose Middle will allow the school district to access eight outdoor classroom spaces to be used by Reeves Elementary School.

Lori Estep presented to the Board of Trustees the plans for overcrowding at Joseph Pye Elementary School.

Currently Joseph Pye Elementary School holds 979 students and is growing rapidly due to the development of housing in the area.

The plan entails moving 140-150 students from Joseph Pye Elementary School to Eagle's Nest Elementary School which currently holds only 767 students.

Estep said that the movement of students will hopefully lower the amount of students in classrooms at Jospeh Pye Elementary School and also help to prevent large amounts of traffic on Patriot Blvd. and Dorchester Rd.

Estep explained that at the core of these plans is a desire to help the students and the schools in the district preform at the top of their capabilities.

"The whole reason that we are doing this is to provide relief for some of our larger schools and to balance out some that maybe don't have as many," Estep said. "It all trickles down to the students"

Justin Farnsworth said that he admired the effort of the district to find solutions to the problem of overcrowding. He said that many districts spend thousands of dollars going to consulting firms to find answers to these problems, however Dorchester District 2 took care of the problem within the district.