Five schools closed to new transfers

Published 7:36 pm Monday, April 27, 2015

Beaufort County Schools announced Monday that five of its 14 schools will be closed to new transfer students for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The schools affected are Bath Elementary School, Eastern Elementary School, John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School, P.S. Jones Middle School and Washington High School.

Students who have been annually enrolling in schools outside of their attendance area will in all likelihood be grandfathered in, barring attendance or behavior issues, but they must continue to fill out the transfer paperwork at the end of each school year, according to Dr. Don Phipps, superintendent of Beaufort County Schools.

“Throughout the year, we continuously monitor the student population of each of our schools,” Phipps said. “Three statistics play a vital role in this decision making process. First there are capacity guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; along with that we use capacity calculations which came from a facilities study completed in 2011.”

The calculations and guidelines help schools maintain a more manageable number of students for a positive working environment, Phipps said.

“We also want to make sure that students living in a school attendance area have access to and receive the resources that they should. Increasing school populations via transfers can lead to fewer available resources. By setting a cap, we attempt to maintain that balance while allowing for growth once the cap is reached.”

When schools and classrooms are overcrowded, classroom priorities can change from instruction and learning to class management and discipline, leading to poorer overall school conditions, according to Sarah Hodges, the public information officer for Beaufort County Schools.

Hodges said that the BCS students who transfer to schools outside their attendance area do so for a variety of reasons: parental work situations, custody issues and afterschool childcare among them. BCS students who live within the county are given priority over students transferring from outside the county, she said.

Transfer/Release applications are available on the Beaufort County Schools website at