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School board approves West Ashley middle school merger

Charleston County School Board approved a motion to consolidate all District 10 middle school 6th-8th grades at the new CE Williams Middle School campus.

After listening to community feedback surrounding the recommendation to provide access and equity for all D10 middle school students, four board members brought forth an alternate recommendation for the Board's consideration Monday, January 27, 2020.

Initially, board action called for placing 7th and 8th grade at the new CE Williams on the West Ashley High School campus and 6th grade on the West Ashley Middle School campus.  

This new recommendation allows the Board's original purpose of bringing equitable quality educational programs to all students in District 10, and to have all middle school students in closer proximity to access high school programs as appropriate. This alternative allows all the benefits of the original Board action to remain intact, and it eliminates many of the logistical concerns district officials heard associated with the one-grade stand-alone school.

Although the new building does not currently have enough seating capacity to contain the entire 6th-8th grade student body, staff has confirmed the ability to add trailers, thereby increasing capacity to support all three grades on the new C. E. Williams campus as early as August 2020. 

With the completion of the newly constructed West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies in August 2021 and support for a permanent addition to the new CE Williams Middle School, trailers could be phased out in the near future. C.E. Williams was designed for additional classrooms to be added to expand student enrollment.  

Staff has been tasked to come back to the board with a long-term middle school plan for West Ashley engaging constituent board and public input by the end of June for the board to vote on alternatives for inclusion in the first phase of the penny sales tax referendum which must be identified by August.

For more information contact the Office of Strategy and Communications at (843) 937-6303.