When summer break begins for students at Edisto Beach Elementary School, the doors to the school will close for good.
The school is the smallest in the state with just nine students in total. The students range in age from kindergarten to sixth grade and there are just two teachers in the building.
For 30 years, the beach school as it is referred to locally, has been the go-to place for the smattering of elementary-aged children living in the town of Edisto Beach, which is in Colleton County. Children who live on the island are in Charleston County and attend Jane Edwards Elementary School right up the road off Highway 174.
The Colleton County School Board made the decision to close the school after this school year ends due to financial concerns. According to Colleton County School Board chairman, John Barnes, it costs $200,000 a year to run the school.
Although a final decision hasn’t been made, officials from both districts are working to make an arrangement so that children living in the town of Edisto Beach can attend Jane Edwards. If an agreement is not made, children living in the town will have to attend public elementary school in Walterboro, which is also Colleton County, or attend private school.
In other school news, Jane Edwards Elementary School will lose its sixth grade class during the 2013-2014 school year. Parents of students attending the school are fighting to get the district to allow the students to stay. As of now, sixth grade students will attend the Baptist Hill Middle School in Hollywood.