Horry County Schools is looking at restricting where kids can go to class.
Growth in the county has caused overcrowding at some schools, such as Lakewood and Ocean Drive elementary schools, both of which are at full capacity and have no room for modular classrooms.
The district is looking at enforcing restrictions on student transfers to Category 1 schools, those that have a projected enrollment of 100 percent or more.
The current policy already doesn’t allow students to transfer to Category 1 schools, but that provision wasn’t strictly enforced.
“We have always regarded our school system as being one that offers choice to parents, and we want to accommodate when we can,” said Superintendent Rick Maxey during a Monday night facilities committee meeting. “Obviously the unprecedented growth in Horry County is something that we need to take into consideration.”
During the last school year at Lakewood Elementary, 127 students transferred into the school while 65 transferred out, according to chief of student services Velna Allen.
“You’ve got growth and you’ve also got transfers, so it’s kind of a double-edge problem,” said coordinator of planning Joe Burch. “We tried to relieve Lakewood when we built Socastee Elementary. We did some redistricting to try to bring their numbers down, and unfortunately, that didn’t pan out.”
The redistricting was supposed to move 100 kids from Lakewood Elementary to Socastee Elementary, said Burch. But only around 25 went and the rest transferred back to Lakewood.
Officials are also looking at making new schools Category 1 institutions as well.
“If within two or three weeks of the school opening up, you’re still not above 90 percent [capacity] then we should allow open enrollment and people to transfer,” said school board chair Joe DeFeo. “That’s my opinion on it. I do not want to restrict it for a year just because it’s a new school.”