Thousands of Rock Hill elementary students headed to different schools. What we know.

3 Rock Hill elementary schools closing at end of year

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - Thousands of elementary students in the Rock Hill School District will be in a different school this fall.

The Rock Hill Schools Board of Trustees voted, 4-2, Monday night to adopt a plan that would rezone up to 3,746 elementary school students for the 2021-22 school year.

The selected rezoning option, labeled “4B,” was among the more aggressive and disruptive ones presented by district staff to the board on Monday. But after weeks of receiving input from the community and mulling the rezoning decision over, several trustees said at the meeting that the selected option was appropriately bold.

Thousands of Rock Hill elementary students headed to different schools. What we know.
Thousands of Rock Hill elementary students headed to different schools. What we know. (Source: Rock Hill Schools)

The selected option shuffles a lot of students, so the “pain” of upending Rock Hill family and student routines is equally felt across the district, trustee Brent Faulkenberry said. Among the option’s most aggressive measures: It moves all the students out of three elementary schools — Finley Road, Belleview and Rosewood.

Thousands of Rock Hill elementary students headed to different schools. What we know.
Thousands of Rock Hill elementary students headed to different schools. What we know. (Source: Rock Hill Schools)

WHY REZONE?

Rezoning had been discussed for years, Rock Hill Superintendent Bill Cook previously told The Herald. But the issue was taken up by the board at a meeting in January.

Some of the goals of rezoning include:

  • Achieving racial balance — or, more specifically, ensuring that the racial composition of the elementary schools proportionately reflects the racial composition of the surrounding community. (According to U.S. Census data, Rock Hill has three main races/ethnicities in its population: 54% white, 39% Black and 6% Latino.)
  • More efficiently using its schools. The Herald previously reported that 14 of the district’s 17 elementary schools are currently at 70% or below in capacity, and nine are 65% or below. The school district has a set target of 75% capacity, district spokesperson Mychal Frost told The Herald.
  • Finding a better use for its school buildings. Nine of the district’s elementary school buildings were constructed 60 or more years ago, which means some students are learning in better facilities than others.

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