Fort Mill schools freezing enrollment again

Fastest growing school district in South Carolina are freezing new enrollment just a few days into the school year.

FORT MILL, S.C. - For the second time in a matter of weeks, an elementary school in Fort Mill is forced to freeze enrollment.

The district announced on Wednesday that Doby's Bridge Elementary will no longer be able to accept incoming students as of September 15.

Record new growth and development in the area contributed to a growing student population, district leaders said.

Fort Mill is experiencing enrollment burdens across the district as record growth has now prompted freezes at two elementary schools this academic year: Doby's Bridge and Gold Hill.

New students zoned for Gold Hill will now attend nearby Tega Cay elementary. District leaders are still trying to figure out where all of the incoming Doby's Bridge students will go to school, having to consider factors at other schools such as student-teacher ratios and bus routes.

Superintendent Dr. Chuck Epps says they project Fort Mill will have 1,000 additional students district-wide by the 10th day of school, compared to this time last year.

In 2015 and 2016, the district saw enrollment increase by about 800-900 students each year.

Epps says he knows there will be another dramatic increase in enrollment soon. There are 15,000 new homes approved to be built in York County, Tega Cay and Fort Mill within the next five years.

Epps says, if this growth continues at this rate, they will be running out of room at the elementary school level fast.

"Our elementary schools look to be full, have zero capacity in another two to three years," he says.

Epps says the school board began formal discussions to address the growth in the district this week.

Currently, there are no new elementary schools slated to be built in the district.

Epps says they will have to consider putting up trailers, and redrawing the zoning lines for the 2018 - 2019 academic year.

"Regardless of the growth, we'll have a place for your child, they'll receive a quality education," he says.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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