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Lexington District One board passes new Gilbert attendance zone

Lexington, S.C. — At the March 17, 2020, regular monthly meeting of the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees, the board passed final attendance lines for Centerville Elementary School in Gilbert.

The first two readings took place during the Jan. 21, 2020, and Feb. 18, 2020, board meetings.

The district also held two public meetings in the Gilbert attendance area on Feb. 4 and Feb 5. At those meetings, parents had the opportunity to hear a presentation, review the proposed attendance lines, ask district administrators questions, discuss the proposed lines with board members and district officials, and give written feedback.

Community members sent in 40 written and 38 online feedback forms. Three significant themes rose to the top: parents’ travel concerns (home to school), bus transportation to and from daycares located on Broad Street, and concerns about splitting immersion classes between two schools.

During the second reading, district administrators explained that the number of students in each proposed attendance area would not allow for a significant change to the proposed lines. To help give parents some flexibility, the district decided to provide 10 choice slot openings at both Centerville and Gilbert elementary schools. These slots are reserved for Gilbert families.

District administrators also amended the original zoning plan to provide transportation to Broad Street daycares.

After further examination of the issues around immersion, however, the board decided to uphold district administrators’ recommendation to create 5K–Grade 5 immersion programs at each school. Both schools will offer Spanish immersion.

Centerville Elementary will open in August of 2020 for the 2020–2021 school year. The finished 128,000-square-foot school is designed for 1,000 students and located at 4147 Augusta Highway on a 22.57-acre site.

The Gilbert Attendance Area currently serves about 1,571 Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 students. The proposed attendance zone for Centerville Elementary adds a second Pre-K through Grade 5 elementary school to the Gilbert attendance area. When CES opens, the current Gilbert Primary School (now Pre-K through Grade 2) will also become a Pre-K through Grade 5 elementary school known as Gilbert Elementary. The name Gilbert Primary will be retired.

The new attendance lines help alleviate overcrowding, efficiently use facilities, minimize the division of subdivisions, consider balance for student diversity, allow future student growth in permanent facilities, consider transportation patterns for safe and efficient student transportation, and utilize natural and major road boundaries where possible.

When both schools open in the fall, the district will equip them with flexible furniture. Teachers and students can move, rearrange and repurpose this flexible furniture for any type of instructional interaction. A variety of learning spaces at the school will allow for collaboration, hands-on project work, and individual, small and large group instruction.

The building at 314 Main Street (current G3–5 Gilbert Elementary) will be refurbished and open as an Early Childhood Center housing three- and four-year-old early childhood and kindergarten classes for the entire Gilbert attendance area. Once, the Early Childhood Center opens, this will also free up more classrooms at the two elementary schools.

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