School board reschedules town hall meetings

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Three town hall meetings originally set for last week but cancelled due to Hurricane Florence have been rescheduled to give parents and community members the opportunity to meet with Beaufort County Superintendent Herb Berg and district staff.

The school district holds a cycle of informal town hall meetings twice each year to present information to, and answer questions from, parents and citizens.

The revised schedule of fall town hall meetings will be:

  • Sept. 20 – Whale Branch Early College High, 6 p.m. (rescheduled from Sept. 12)
  • Sept. 24 – Hilton Head Island High, 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 26 – May River High, 6 p.m. (rescheduled from Sept. 11)
  • Sept. 27 – Bluffton Middle-Spanish language, 6 p.m. (rescheduled from Sept. 13)
  • Oct. 3 – Battery Creek High (also Islands Academy), 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 29 – Beaufort High, 6 p.m.

The possible 2019-20 adjustment of Bluffton school attendance zones is expected to be a principal focus at several of the upcoming town hall meetings. The school district has seen rapid enrollment growth in the southern section of the county, and several schools in the Bluffton area are already beyond their designated capacities. Last April voters rejected a bond referendum that would have constructed one new Bluffton school and expanded two existing Bluffton schools.

At the southern Beaufort County town hall meetings, district officials will initiate a discussion about possible 2019-20 adjustments to school attendance zones by reviewing an outline of a sample proposal presented to the Board of Education on Aug. 11. The purpose of rezoning would be to reduce overcrowding at some schools by moving some of their students to schools with space to accommodate mobile classrooms.

“The Board of Education wants to ensure that parents and taxpayers have numerous opportunities to provide feedback on any proposals aimed at adjusting attendance zones,” said Robert Oetting, the school district’s Chief Operations Officer.  “Enrollment growth in the southern portion of Beaufort County shows no signs of slowing down, and Board members are very interested in how their constituents want to meet that challenge.”

Although participants in the three northern Beaufort County town hall meetings may ask questions about rezoning, the board is not currently discussing possible student reassignments there.

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