Congratulations to Okatie Elementary School for its National Blue Ribbon Award. It is well deserved.
My grandson was a first-grader there last year. I was delighted with the academic strides and the nurturing he received. We attended numerous extracurricular activities provided for students and families. They were well planned and well attended. The parent support is phenomenal.
Last year, the parents of the children who attended Okatie and live in Rose Hill Plantation were told that the white children in Rose Hill would have to go to another school for the 2013-2014 school year because the school did not meet the mandated diversity standards. The students needed to be moved to make room for disadvantaged students. Many appeals to the board were denied, but the requirement was changed to include all children living in Rose Hill.
According to a recent story, a school could win the National Blue Ribbon award if 40 percent of the students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and the school showed dramatic improvement in test scores. Was the student population adjusted to meet that standard? The school was nominated last December under past enrollment records.
It is early in this school year. Were last year's scores considered before the transition or was the school diverse enough last year to merit this recognition?
That same edition had a story listing each school's student enrollment. Okatie has 602 students and a capacity of 672. Were those 30 students relocated to meet the requirements for the award? Was the best interest of all children considered?
Hilton Head Island