Update July 15: Read the update here.
Updated July 14: A panel tasked with suggesting to the Beaufort Board of Education which school should be closed on Wednesday voted to close both Port Royal and Shell Point elementary schools.
Thing is the panel decided it wants to meet once more before officially making its recommendation to the school board.
Another item worth mentioning is that in The Island Packet's report of Wednesday's meeting the reporter mentions that 15 members of the advisory board were present to vote on the closures when the group met in June. This time, only nine members voted.
Let us be the first to say we'd like to see a little more commitment from those helping to decide the fate of these schools.
Updated July 12: We now have our first 'official' report from mainstream media regarding the potential closure of Port Royal Elementary School.
The Island Packet has filed its report. There's not a whole lof of new information to share here, but it does include voices of several local residents and officials who say they're concerned about the potential closure.
Updated July 8: Anything worth fighting for receives a Facebook campaign of some sort doesn't it?
And so it's no surprise that a "Save PRES" initiative has popped up on the social media giant.
The campaign is simple and states:
We are trying to save our beloved Port Royal Elementary School
So far the page has posted its mission, meeting updates and the contact information for school board members.
Updated July 7: In the first mainstream media coverage of this Port Royal Elementary issue that we've seen since an advisory committee suggested the school's closure, The Island Packet has a few graphs of reaction from town council, which met Wednesday night.
Basically it's a lot of what you'd expect; council members say this shouldn't happen and residents say they'll fight it.
Updated July 6: Not a whole lot to update here, but worth mentioning that several concerned parents and Port Royal residents attended Tuesday night's school board meeting to speak out against the suggested closure of Port Royal Elementary School.
Again, this proposal has been made by an advisory committee and still must go before the full board of education.
We're again relying on the Save Beaufort Schools effort for a lot of good info regarding the latest, and will refer you to a few Facebook updates below that detail some of last night's goings on.
Updated July 3: Just a mention that the next two pertinent meetings where any of these issues could be addressed will occurr July 5 and July 13.
The full school board meets July 5 at 6 p.m. in County Council chambers and the closure committee meets July 13 at 6 p.m. at Okatie Elementary.
Also, in case you missed it, we had a piece on the irony of all this occurring during Port Royal Elementary's 100th anniversary. You can read that here.
Reported June 30: We didn't see any local media coverage of this today, but according to a bunch of Facebook discussion and Twitter posts a Beaufort County School District advisory board met last night and has voted to close Port Royal Elementary School.
This information comes to us from the Save Shell Point Twitter account, which has been on the ball with a lot of this info since discussions about closing schools, particularly Shell Point Elementary, began months back.
According to their tweets, the motion to close Port Royal Elementary passed by a majority vote, and the group decided that those students will go to Mossy Oaks, and some of Mossy Oaks' student body would move to Beaufort Elementary.
A screengrab from the Save Beaufort Schools Facebook page
We emailed the Beaufort County School District this morning to confirm what we'd seen and it was indeed confirmed:
This is the reccommendation that the committee will take to the board
That quote from district spokesperson Robyn Cushingberry.
Now of course any decision of this magnitude still has to be approved by the school board, but this certainly is an interesting turn of events.