Charleston, S.C (WCBD)— Dozens of parents, teachers, and staff are speaking out against the Charleston County School District’s proposal to turn Mitchell Elementary School into a middle school.
Many parents are not satisfied with the plan that would rezone students, so, at a school board meeting on Monday night, they shared their concerns.
Former Mitchell Elementary student and parent of three children who also attended, Akilah Berry, says, “I would like to see the board leave Mitchell as is and don’t break up our family.”
Berry asked the board not to consider a proposal that would dissolve the school.
“It’s an idea that no one really benefits from. As far as the community around Mitchell, we chose to send our children to that school. There are other elementary schools on the Peninsula that we could have chosen to send our children to, but we chose Mitchell for a reason,” Berry said.
The proposal would break-up the student body of more than 300 students and rezone them to Memminger Elementary School and Charleston Progressive Academy. All teachers and staff would be relocated into other schools in the district.
“Mitchell was chosen at this time by the simple fact that it’s the only school from the elementary side that hasn’t been renovated yet. By vacating Mitchell, it gives us a chance to fix that school up and prepare it for a middle school. Right now, we don’t have that option at any of the other schools,” Jeff Borowy, CEO of Charleston County School District said.
Shawnita Montgomery, a parent of a Mitchell Elementary student, says that she is not satisfied with the district’s plan to dissolve the elementary school and use the facility to house middle school students.
She says, “It’s going to take and misplace a lot of children and put them in not great positions”.
Montgomery says that it was a difficult process to enroll her children at Mitchell Elementary, but she believes it’s a better school than the alternatives zoned for her neighborhood. She doesn’t want to see them lose the opportunity to go to school there.
“Most parents whose children attend Mitchell, we did a lottery where we had to fill out an application and get chosen for our children to go there. The schools that are zoned in my area right now, they aren’t great schools. If I wanted to send my child there, I would have,” Montgomery said.
District officials say that that school board is expected to vote on this proposal sometime in November.
They say that there will be several opportunities for public comment before any decisions are made regarding the future of Mitchell Elementary School.