Changes planned for three Grand Strand area schools

St. Michael School in Murrells Inlet will restructure to serve K-4 through sixth grade beginning in the fall. (File photo)

MYRTLE BEACH—The Diocese of Charleston announced more changes to some of its schools April 22, this time in the Grand Strand.

In a press release, the diocese stated that St. Michael in Murrells Inlet and Holy Trinity in North Myrtle Beach will discontinue serving most middle school grades. The students affected by the changes can attend the newly developed middle school at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School or attend St. Andrew School, whose organizational structure will remain the same.

Starting in the fall, St. Michael will serve K-4 through sixth grade and Holy Trinity will serve K-3 through fifth grade. Students in each middle school — which will be grades seven and eight at St. Michael, and six through eight at Holy Trinity — will be able to attend St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Also, when the two elementary schools open their doors in August, they will augment their existing K-4 program by adding a First Steps program for those families that are eligible.  

By adding additional grades to Seton, middle school students will be able to learn in a challenging, Catholic environment while having the opportunity to participate in advanced academic classes, the arts, and extra-curricular activities that St. Michael and Holy Trinity Schools cannot offer due to their small size.

Holy Trinity School in North Myrtle Beach will focus on younger students, switching to a K-3 through fifth grade format beginning in the fall. (File photo)

Transportation will be provided to those St. Michael and Holy Trinity students who choose to attend Seton Catholic. Students who choose to attend St. Andrew will continue to receive the same quality kindergarten through eighth-grade education and co-curricular opportunities for which the school is known.

This reorganization will result in the elimination of certain jobs within St. Michael and Holy Trinity. However, these faculty and staff members will have the opportunity to apply for teaching positions in other Catholic schools — including the expanded staff at Seton Catholic, the release stated. 

“I want to express my gratitude to these beloved teachers and staff members who have given so much of themselves to both of these schools’ communities,” said Sandra Leatherwood, superintendent of Catholic schools. 

Leatherwood is scheduled to retire at the end of the current school year after serving the diocese for the past 44 years as a teacher, principal, and superintendent.

The restructuring will assist all Catholic schools in moving toward an even stronger and more viable future both academically and financially, according to the statement.

Diocesan and school officials also recently announced the restructuring of St. Martin de Porres School in Columbia, St. Paul the Apostle in Spartanburg, St. Joseph in Anderson, and St. Anne & St. Jude in Sumter.