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District Five proposes 'enrollment freeze' for new residents

Lake Murray Elementary (Source: Lexington-Richland School District Five)

Lexington-Richland School District Five recently proposed an enrollment freeze for residents new to the attendance zone.

According to a press release, the freeze would only impact students and families moving into the Lake Murray Elementary School zone after January 22, 2018. Chief Planning and Administrative Officer Dr. Michael Harris announced the proposal at a December 11 school board meeting. The goal is to address increasing enrollment.

“The number of students in the Lake Murray attendance area continues to increase, despite several actions the district has taken to control enrollment at the school,” Harris said. “As a school district, we vetted several options and determined that the most viable solution, in the immediate, is an enrollment freeze.”

Enrollment at Lake Murray Elementary School grew from 449 students in 2001 to 1012 this year, according to numbers from 135th Day. To combat this, the school has presented options and transportation to Ballentine Elementary and Chapin Elementary. If the new proposal was approved, new students and families will be reassigned to either of those schools.

Dr. Stephen Hefner, the superintendents for District Five, reiterated that this is a temporary solution.

“This likely won’t decrease enrollment at Lake Murray, just prevent it from growing further,” Hefner said. “We’ve said all along that the permanent solution…the best solution is an additional school in the Chapin cluster, and we are working on finding funds to do that.”

The school board will discuss the ideal at their January 8 meeting.

Lake Murray Elementary currently serves kindergarten through fourth grade.

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