3 schools closed to in-county transfers

Published 3:50 pm Thursday, April 13, 2017

Three schools in Beaufort County are now closed to in-county transfers.

At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps announced that Eastern Elementary School, John Cotten Tayloe, P.S. Jones Middle School and Washington High School would no longer accept students living in Beaufort County who are looking to transfer from their current school.

Bath Elementary School, Chocowinity Middle School and Chocowinity Primary School will still accept transfers at this time, but officials are monitoring those schools, as they are nearing the transfer cutoff, Phipps said.

Students whose transfers were already approved any time before Tuesday will not be affected by the closure, as long as behavior and attendance remains up to par.

For the 2017-2018 school year, Phipps said the state Department of Public Instruction projects Beaufort County Schools will have about 6,800 students. Local estimates, however, place that number at 6,950. Those numbers do not include pre-kindergarten.

Phipps said the public schools expect to lose some students to alternative schools, such as the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience.

“I expect the numbers will ultimately be close to DPI projections. We have to wait until the end of month two to have official numbers,” he said.

The threshold of when to close a school to in-county transfers is set at 95-percent capacity, according to Phipps. He said that percentage is in line with a facilities study from several years ago.

“We begin to monitor as the number approaches 90 percent, and close at 95 percent or possibly sooner if we know enrollment will climb. We have to allow room for those students who move into the attendance area,” Phipps said.