Horry County schools continue growing trend, according to report

The Horry County school board received the district’s 45-day report, the first benchmark for gaining funding from the state, at its meeting Monday night and outlined steps for filling the soon-to-be vacant District 3 seat.

Rick Maxey, chief support services officer for Horry County Schools, said the district is still experiencing growth, with an increase of 841 students from last year, but the growth is not as aggressive as what has been seen in past years when the district was adding around 1,500 students per year.

The district budgeted for 39,309 students for 2012-13, and the average daily membership for the first 45 days was 197 students more than the projection, according to the report. The ADM is the number the state uses for calculating district funding.

Actual enrollment reported on the 45th day, which was Oct. 25, was 39,666, 160 students more than the ADM for the cumulative first 45 days. ADM numbers give a clearer picture of the number of students because it is an average. Enrollment fluctuates each day, and the enrollment number only gives a snapshot of enrollment from the 45th day.

Teal Harding, HCS spokeswoman, said the amount of growth or loss is important because a significant increase or loss at one school could affect personnel changes. She said the extra 197 students reported this year are spread across the nine attendance areas and shouldn’t create a problem because typically, a gain in students at a single school is found across multiple grades and doesn’t affect teacher positions. She said that wasn’t the case a few years ago at the peak of the district’s growth when schools such as those in Carolina Forest were easily adding at least 200 students above what was projected for their schools.

The board also agreed to advertise for candidates for the District 3 seat beginning Jan. 2. The seat is being vacated by Joe DeFeo, who ran unopposed for board chairman in November, and it represents parts of Carolina Forest and Myrtle Beach.

Board Chairman Will Garland said the filing deadline for the seat will be Jan. 22, and the board will discuss which candidates will be interviewed Jan. 28. He said interviews will be held during the week of Feb. 4, and a candidate will be selected in executive session Feb. 11 and sworn in Feb. 25.