Horry County Schools considers policy change to fight overcrowding

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Schools revealed a first look at a possible policy change drafted by staff in the school district. The possible change comes after staff said only six schools in the county are under 80% capacity.

Lakewood Elementary and Ocean Drive Elementary were two schools specifically mentioned by the district’s Facilities Director, Mark Wolfe. He said each school has reached capacity in the building and has no more room for mobile classrooms.

A draft policy was presented to the Horry County School Board on Monday night. It includes an amendment that would not allow students to transfer into any newly constructed school for a full calendar year.

The county opened three new schools this year and two more are set to open by spring 2018. Right now, students can transfer into any school not labeled a “Category One” school.

“Category One schools are the ones that are at capacity or over capacity,” said Horry County Schools spokeswoman, Lisa Bourcier. “We already have provisions within there to not allow transfer of students because of that issue, but now we want to look at possibly adding an amendment to that [for] some of the new schools.”

Bourcier said not allowing students to transfer into the new schools for a full calendar year would allow the district to gauge the capacity levels of the school.

The board has not yet voted on the new amendment but any change wouldn’t take effect until next school year.

Renovation Costs

The board will also talk about how to fund a $21 million project to convert Myrtle Beach Middle School into an elementary school in the next few months.

The board had two options for renovations but decided on the more expensive option which includes short and long-term fixes.

The board is expected to reveal plans on how the district will pay for the renovations at its next meeting on Nov. 20.