About 50 Columbia County pupils will take advantage of “permissive transfers” next school year.
A state-mandated program implemented three years ago, permissive transfers allow pupils to attend other schools within their systems, but out of their zones, as long as space is available.
The number of pupils using permissive transfers dropped from 87 this year to 51 next school year.
The majority of the requests, 15, were to attend Lewiston Elementary School, which had 59 available slots.
Lewiston Elementary also was the most popular destination for transferring pupils last year, when about 40 chose to switch. Once one of the system’s most populated elementary schools, Lewiston Elementary lost numerous pupils when it was rezoned for the opening of the new Baker Place Elementary.
Also getting more pupils is Blue Ridge Elementary, which maxed out its 12 available slots. Harlem High will get nine transferring students, Stallings Island Middle will take seven, North Columbia Elementary will receive five and Westmont Elementary will get three pupils.
More than 400 slots were available for transfers, with 222 of those slots at Harlem High, which lost hundreds of pupils when Grovetown High opened three years ago.
Slots allowed under the program are based on the capacity of each school as listed by the state Department of Education minus 10 percent to account for possible school growth.
Those accepting permissive transfers must provide their own transportation to the preferred school.