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Committee recommends a K-8 school for Clements Ferry Road
By Suzanne Detar
Feb 12, 2014 - 3:05:59 PM

Last week the Berkeley County School Board heard a presentation and recommendation from the 33 member committee created by the district to study the grade configuration and location of a second school, in addition to a high school, for the Daniel Island and Cainhoy/Huger communities. Making the presentation on behalf of the entire committee was Mr. Herman Gaither.
According to the written report, which was presented by Gaither, the Committee recommended “…that the new facility (or facilities) serve the voter approved middle grades (6- 8) and expand to serve grades K to 5. Based on committee discourse, a school(s) serving grades K to 8 is seen as the most logical grade structure to eliminate overcrowding in the existing Daniel Island School and adequately address the current and future known population growth of the neighborhood areas.”
The committee also recommended “…that the new facility be designed and constructed to build upon traditional academic areas (mathematics, science, Language Arts, social studies) and infuse a STEAM delivery system program focused on student outcome,” the report states. Gaither explained that the school would serve the local communities but also be a school of choice.
The committee recommended that the school be located off of Clements Ferry Road adjacent to the location of the new high school, as depicted on the accompanying map.
The committee was formed after Daniel Island and Cainhoy/Huger area residents voiced concerns about K-8 remaining on Daniel Island as well as the proposed location of a second school. In November 2012, voters approved a $198 million bond and building program that included a new high school and a new middle school for the Clements Ferry Road area of Berkeley County.
Following Mr. Gaither’s presentation, Ryan Gilsenan, a Daniel Island resident who served on the committee and who has been a vocal supporter of keeping K-8 on Daniel Island, addressed the board and explained that the recommendation was “a good use of tax money and planning for future growth.”
Several board members and the superintendent thanked the committee members, several of whom were in attendance at the school board meeting, for their hard work.
Comprised of residents who are vested stakeholders in Cainhoy Elementary Middle and Daniel Island Elementary Middle and covering more than 25 miles of area around the Clements Ferry Road corridor, the committee met seven times over 14 weeks, beginning Sept. 30, 2013 and ending Jan. 15, 2014. Gaither facilitated all meetings, which were held at CEM and DIS on a rotating basis; meetings were videotaped and meeting minutes recorded.   
All materials were posted to the website
The Board did not take any action on the recommendation. Earlier this week BCSD spokesperson Amy Kovach said the board would take up the recommendation at one of its March meetings, but an agenda for those meetings had not yet been set. Kovach said it will likely be on the March 11 meeting agenda but that is not a guarantee. If not, she said, it will be on the March 25 agenda.   

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