FLORENCE — The Florence One Schools Board of Trustees voted Thursday to add fifth-grade students to four elementary schools in the district during the 2020-21 school year.
The plan will also make Moore Intermediate School a sixth- and seventh-grade school.
At Delmae, Carver and Lucy T. Davis Elementary Schools the current fourth-grade students will stay at the school next year. McLaurin Elementary School will also receive fifth-graders next year with the addition of a modular wing. McLaurin now has grades 4K through fourth grade.
This is the first step in moving toward the middle school concept.
The original plan consisted of adding fifth-graders to Delmae, Carver and Lucy T. Davis Elementary school, but Chairman Porter Stewart asked about the possibility of adding fifth-grade students to McLaurin Elementary.
O’Malley suggested adding a modular unit to McLaurin Elementary. He said adding a modular unit would be cheaper than building a brick and mortar addition, the unit would connect to the school and the building would be built more quickly than a brick and mortar.
“If they’re willing to authorize that, we’re willing to take on that challenge, which I think the parents, the students and the teachers will be ecstatic,” O’Malley said.
O’Malley had experience in his previous district with mobile additions. He said the hardest part would be getting the approval by the state of South Carolina, but the mobile would take only about four months to construct.
O’Malley said the district is trying to ensure that it minimizes the number of students being shifted around. With the approved plan, students will stay at the schools they attend now.
Board member Artie Buxton said the district has talked about the middle school concept for several years.
“I’m just excited to see that we’re actually doing something,” Buxton said. “This is nothing new. This has been talked about for years.”