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DI's neighboring communities speak with a statistically significant voice
By Jennifer Johnston
Sep 25, 2013 - 9:20:21 AM


Thirty-three percent of the Daniel Island School (DIS) population is made up of students who live in the communities surrounding Daniel Island.
According to data provided from the Berkeley County School District last week (BCSD), the DIS school population breakout is:
• Number of Students with an address on Daniel Island: 900 students, which is 66% of the student population at DIS
• Number of Students without an address on Daniel Island and in the DIS attendance zone: 454 students, which is 33% of the student population
• Number of Students with an address not found in the GIS database: 15 students, or about 1% of the student population (this represents students who come to school with a parent who teaches/works at DIS, and the very few remaining students from the 2006 No Child Left Behind grandfather clause which has nearly run its full course as children have grown/moved up past the eighth grade).
• Total students: 1369, 100% of the student population.
DIS families living in the neighborhoods adjacent to Daniel Island proper have considerable interest in – and concern about – the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association’s (DINA) and the Daniel Island Property Owners Association’s (DI POA) exploration of the island’s potential annexation from Berkeley County into Charleston County. Since the petition to take this change to a ballot vote covers only Daniel Island proper residents, DIS students living in the more than 800 homes in the nine-mile loop between St. Thomas Island and Cainhoy would remain Berkeley County residents, while their Daniel Island classmates would become residents of Charleston County – possibly taking DIS with them – should the annexation ultimately pass.
Though the school issue is only one of many considered by Daniel Island residents, it is perhaps the one with the most hotly-contested rumors and hypotheses, leaving the fate of all Daniel Island-to-Cainhoy students in an ambiguous holding pattern for an undetermined period of time. The academic facilities future may become clearer following school site selection meetings to be held by BCSD on Monday, September 30. The DINA petition for an annexation election will be in a bit of a holding pattern of its own until after this “collaborative dialogue” between school board and community.
In a message sent to DINA members on Wednesday, September 18, association president Dave Williams affirmed the importance of hearing out the Berkeley County School District’s plans for DI-area schools prior to furthering the Berkeley-to-Charleston annexation campaign, stating, “Accordingly, in no case would we file a petition with the Governor's office, until after the BCSD has had the opportunity to present its plans for the present and future students of the Daniel Island School, on September 30th.”


WHAT NEIGHBORING ASSOCIATIONS ARE SAYING:
Shell Ring HOA President Jim Poch:
“The Shell Ring HOA does not have a position on the Daniel Island annexation yet. This has been a surprise to us and we're trying to figure out how this will affect our children's education and our property values.
We are in a process to determine what actions we should take, if any. But I can personally say, that any action that is perceived to kick our children's education to the curb or significantly affect property value will be fought very, very, loudly. Ultimately, annexation will be judged by Charleston County voters. They'll decide who they allow to enter into their daily life. It is in everyone's interest that this process garners support from all stakeholders and not force parents into an ugly fight. Because none of us want relationships to suffer or end.
I can also say personally that many are disappointed that Daniel Island would not even consider partnership options because their bylaws prevented them from doing so. It is just hard to believe that Daniel Island is attempting to change two counties, change two school districts, involve the Governor, involve the SC House, and involve the SC Senate but they can't modify their bylaws to partner with neighbors that are currently zoned in their school district? To me, that is very sad.”

Beresford Commons
 HOA President Dominic Lowe:
“We have not held any meetings yet, as we only recently learned of this campaign to possibly annex from Berkeley County. However, we are keeping track of the discussions and we are interested to know how likely this is to happen, as it affects our residents and children.
My concerns are the same as those I have heard from my neighbors: how annexation will affect taxes and schools. Obviously, taxes would increase significantly for the remaining Berkeley county residents if Daniel Island is successfully annexed to Charleston County. And many of us along Clements Ferry Road made our home choices based on being part of Daniel Island School, so successful annexation would seemingly impact us in that way as well.
I do think southern Berkeley County would experience negative change if Daniel Island successfully annexed. Berkeley County officials seem much more attentive to their communities in the south because Daniel Island is located there. While those of us in the Clements Ferry Road corridor are not geographically part of Daniel Island, we do consider ourselves part of the expanded DI community. This is not only due to our close geographic proximity, but we also patronize businesses there, attend their schools and go to live events on the island as well. I personally feel that several Clements Ferry Road communities would be very interested in joining Daniel Island in the annexation campaign if it appeared likely to be successful. We also spend a great deal of our money in Charleston County and share the same concerns as Daniel Island residents.”

Beresford Hall
HOA President Lee Ann Bain:
“We have met… At this time, we are researching and discussing all options.”


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