Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Carolina Park Elementary re-zone plans concern parents

Frustrated Asian teenage young woman female student with head in hands in hallway in school

Photo: Getty Images

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - As Mount Pleasant continues to grow, the Charleston County School District is figuring out how to assign each neighborhood’s population to a nearby school.

A re-zone plan currently in the works has some Carolina Park parents pushing back. The Charleston County Constituent District 2 members will consider four map options in the re-zoning. Each map would move about 200 students who currently live in the Carolina Park district to another elementary school.

The district’s department of planning and real estate projections says Carolina Park Elementary enrollment will exceed the school’s capacity by 2025. Nearby Laurel Hill and Charles Pinckney are expected to have space and bear the transfer of some Carolina Park students.

Jonathan Mars is one of more than 1,000 parents who have signed a petition against map option one, which impacts many children, including his own. He says he doesn’t want to see parts of Carolina Park split up.

“All of the options put every parent in North Mount Pleasant in a difficult spot,” Mars says. “However, we just think that creating a have and have not in the same neighborhood where kids are going to go to the pool and they’re not going to go to the same school as their friends there. It just creates a really difficult dynamic for our children.”

Mars says most of the Carolina Park neighborhood kids walk or bike to school and that’s a big perk to a lot of parents.

“It’s one of the reasons we moved here. I think anyone who lives in Carolina Park and has kids under 12 wanted their kids to go to this school,” he says. “It just doesn’t seem to make sense that we would want to take kids off of their bikes and put them in a car and ship them across town.”

Mars suggests the district look into solutions like long-term expansion or short-term portable classrooms instead of moving kids around.

“I think expansion is a good case and there was a vote for 1% tax increase two years ago to expand this very school. The issue for us as Carolina Park residents is this land was donated to the district with the understanding that Carolina Park children would be able to go to this school,” Mars says.

He and other parents plan to attend the Aug. 23 District 2 Constituent Board Meeting where the re-zone topic is on the agenda. Some are organizing to wear blue to signify Carolina Park Unity. The board is expected to hear public comments and consider the options. Members will likely make a decision later this fall for upcoming school years.

Constituent districts are used by the school district for the re-zoning process as well as to assign students to non-magnet local schools, to consider and determine student transfer requests, both inter and intra-district and to hear and decide student discipline appeals.

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