More seats to be added in East Cooper schools

  • Friday, May 10, 2013

Charleston County School District Superintendant Dr. Nancy McGinley briefed the school board last night on how officials hope to create enough seats for East Cooper students.

The superintendant has been working with District II officials on rezoning and the concern is how - between now and 2018 when they get the Carolina Park Elementary built - are we going to have enough desks to serve East Cooper?

She announced to the board a plan developed by working with the District II Constituent Board and the Town of Mount Pleasant that has three strategic parts.

• A partnership with East Cooper Montessori will be created to renovate the former Laing building to expand East Cooper Montessori which is a proven, highly successful school. The district’s strategic plan has always been to put choice in every region and this would allow them to expand the Montessori choice option in East Cooper.

• When the new Sullivan’s Island School is built, the district will open East Cooper Magnet School at the former Whitesides for approximately 500 students with marginal “make ready” costs.

The magnet option at Whitesides would come online during the 2014 school year and McGinley has included money in her proposed budget for advance hiring of principals and start up costs.

• McGinley will also bring to the board a recommendation to build out the new Jennie Moore and new Laing at 1,200 capacity verses opening with 900 students. This would come online in school year 2015.

District officials have identified fund savings from the 2005 capital program to fund parts of this and they’ve identified costs savings from the bid award from the Wando Middle College to pay for this.

This is a multi-fold concept - by being able to bring the additional seats during the attempt to defer and delay redistricting to 2015, the concept ensures there is no gap and they can still bring additional seats on in an innovative and cost effective way and provide East Cooper with two choice options.

The strategy is part of the budget discussions that will occur over the next month.

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