District staff debates how to handle Horry County schools over capacity

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – An Horry County School Facilities meeting Monday night revealed how many schools in the district are over capacity.

District staff said nine schools in the county are over capacity and 18 are over 90% capacity.

The following schools are over capacity, according to the district’s 45 day modified average daily membership numbers:

  • Aynor Elementary School
  • Aynor Middle School
  • Carolina Forest Elementary School
  • Ocean Bay Elementary School
  • River Oaks Elementary School
  • Conway Elementary School
  • Myrtle Beach Primary School
  • Myrtle Beach Intermediate School
  • Ocean Drive Elementary School

Staff members said the numbers are concerning and are looking into whether students transferring outside of their assigned attendance area is the cause of the crowded classrooms.

“Most of our schools over capacity are the elementary schools,” said spokesperson, Lisa Bourcier. “We are seeing an influx of people moving to this area with younger children beginning those elementary school years.”

School board chairman, Joe DeFeo, said he thinks having school choice and allowing students to transfer outside of their assigned area is a good thing. The board chair says he wants to keep the option of allowing parents to transfer their children.

“There’s different things you could look at,” said Bourcier. “You could look at redrawing attendance lines, you could look at adding portable classrooms and then, of course, the last option, which is the most expensive option, is, of course, building a new facility.”

The board plans to discuss how to address the overcrowding issues in the next few weeks. One suggestion was to not allow transfers if a school is at 90 or 95 percent capacity, but no official decisions have been made.