Proposal to close rural Rembert elementary schools draws concern - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Proposal to close rural Rembert elementary schools draws concern surrounding student consolidation

Rafting Creek Elementary School is the target of a consolidation plan to make new PK through 8th-grade schools. (Source: WIS) Rafting Creek Elementary School is the target of a consolidation plan to make new PK through 8th-grade schools. (Source: WIS)
REMBERT, SC (WIS) -

A public meeting was held Sunday evening at Rafting Creek Elementary to discuss the potential closings of three Sumter County rural schools.

Over 250 people came out to voice their concerns about the possibility of the school district closing Rafting Creek Elementary school for the 2018-2019 school year.

The proposal, made by the Sumter School District, will create a Pre-kindergarten through 8th-grade school and close three rural schools: Rafting Creek Elementary, Delaine Elementary, and Mayewood middle school.

A local community group called ICAR, which stands for I Care About Rembert, created an alternative proposal to consolidate High Hills amongst Rafting Creek, Oakland Primary, and Shaw Heights.

Currently, High Hills, Oakland Primary, and Shaw Heights only enroll two grade levels per school.

The alternative proposal will serve PK-5th grade in hopes to create uniformity across the District.

The Sumter school board says Rafting Creek is unsustainable at the size they are at now and is hopeful consolidating the school will make it more successful in the long run.

“We have to put together a plan that is going to address the loss of population while keeping schools in our rural areas," Debbie Hamm, Interim Superintendent of Sumter School district, said. "So what we’ve proposed is to put an elementary school together with a middle school to form a K-8 school.”

Parents are concerned that mixing elementary school children with 8th-graders will result in issues such as bullying seeing an increase in occurrences.

Monica Ransom, a parent of three Rafting Creek Elementary students, believes closing the school is “not a good idea."

“Putting the kids with the older kids, there is a concern for the bullying," Ransom said. "We have to think about you’re going to mix those kids on the same bus.”

ICAR advocates say the alternative proposal will help evenly balance the student population amongst schools across the district.

“This is not an appropriate environment for our kindergarten and elementary schools,” Carlton Washington, ICAR Organizer, said. “They’ll even be transported on buses with the middle school students as well. This is not a good look. Particularly when you have three schools six miles up the road who only serve two grades each.”

There will be a school board meeting Monday at Crest Wood High School where they will further discuss the new proposal.

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • The Latest: Barbara Bush buried at presidential library

    The Latest: Barbara Bush buried at presidential library

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:44:47 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 4:36 AM EDT2018-04-22 08:36:35 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    More >>

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    More >>
  • Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 4:36 AM EDT2018-04-22 08:36:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
  • Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:14 AM EDT2018-04-21 13:14:09 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 4:36 AM EDT2018-04-22 08:36:14 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...

    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly