Students heading back to school face very crowded classrooms

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- The day has arrived! Several counties started their school years off Monday.Dorchester District Two teachers have prepared all summer, making room for more students. Superintendent Joseph Pye says he's not surprised at the growing number of students in his district."We have such a caring staff, wonderful people who really put children first and our academic progress in this district has been phenomenal over the recent years," said Pye. "I think people see that and understand that and want to be a part of it."DD2 has added 17 mobile classroom units to accommodate the number of students this year bringing the total number of portables to 177.Superintendent Pye says that's why the referendum on the November ballot needs to pass."Three thousand students are in this school. Two thousand of them are already in the classrooms an hour before school opens. We have to bus them in as early as we can to get them to other schools, we're just so crowded," said Pye. "Every school in the district is overcrowded with the exception of one, our newest school still has a little bit of room to grow. The other 21 are all over capacity."The 179 million dollar referendum would help build three new elementary schools, a new middle school and provide money for renovations. {}"Our concern's going to be making sure people understand that we have a safe, orderly wonderful school system but we are stretched to the limits," explained Pye. "Our challenges must be met if we're going to be even better than we are now."Students in Dorchester county aren't the only ones boarding the busses Monday morning. It's also the first day of class in Berkeley and Colleton counties.Charleston and Georgetown counties start on Wednesday.