This year, some Aiken County Public School students started the 2018-19 year in a brand new school, and others are attending different schools as part of the redistricting plan the School Board approved in January.
The district also will continue construction at North Augusta High and Aiken High this school year, introduce a new accelerated learning program at Aiken High, break ground for a new Ridge Spring-Monetta High, and open a new adult learning center.
Construction continues on new classrooms at North Augusta High School. The nearly $40 million project should be complete by early November 2018.
After the classroom wing, cafeteria and media center opened at Aiken High in December, the school's new sign recently went up on the administration building on Rutland Drive.
Both projects are funded in part with revenue from the 1 percent sales tax.
Aiken Scholars Academy
The new Aiken Scholars Academy welcomed 50 ninth-graders from across the county when classes started Aug. 20. The Aiken Scholars Academy is based in USC Aiken's Ruth Patrick Science Education Center.
A partnership between the school district and USCA, the academy will provide an elite academic experience for qualified students who were chosen by application. The academy will immerse them in the college experience while still in high school; as upperclassmen, students will take classes taught by USCA professors and earn college credit.
Redistricting will affect students across the county, but especially in the Aiken area.
The board also approved attendance boundary changes for middle and elementary schools in Area 3, including Leavelle McCampbell Middle in Graniteville, Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle, Byrd Elementary in Graniteville, Warrenville Elementary, Gloverville Elementary, Jefferson Elementary in Bath and Clearwater Elementary.
The school district's school zone locator has been updated with new attendance lines for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, according to its website. To access the locator, visit acpsd.net.
Ridge Spring-Monetta High
On Aug. 17, the school district broke ground for the new Ridge Spring-Monetta High School, which will be funded in part with revenue from the 1 percent sales tax voters approved in November 2014. The school will be built on the existing campus in Monetta.
New adult education center
On Aug. 21, the district opened the Aiken County Adult Education Center with a new name and a new location on Jefferson Davis Highway near Aiken Technical College. The proximity to the college will allow the center to coordinate workforce training and development programs with ATC.
New elementary school
During the school year, the district will renovate the former adult learning center, the Byrd Learning Center in Graniteville, as a repurposed and renamed elementary school to help alleviate overcrowding at Byrd Elementary. The new school is expected to open in fall 2019.