Dutch Fork is constantly getting top ranks, as it has been ranked the best school in District 5 and the top traditional public high schools in South Carolina according to test scores consistently.

Dutch Fork is constantly getting top ranks, as it has been ranked the best school in District 5 and the top traditional public high schools in South Carolina according to test scores consistently. However, being best in the state apparently comes with a price.

Irmo, Chapin, and even Spring Hill are being advertised more to the eighth graders than Dutch Fork is. Despite the promotional videos that are shown to the middle schoolers about each high school, Dutch Fork tends to be given the short end of the stick.

Along with this, none of the high schools are allowed to recruit rising freshmen to be in clubs or any extracurricular programs. This may not seem like such a big deal, but for several programs, the only thing keeping them active are the students coming in from the middle school.

This decision may have been made to even the playing field for the other high schools, as many students were coming to Dutch Fork for different programs while not as many were going off to Irmo and Chapin for whatever they have to offer.

With Spring Hill now up and running and bringing in new freshmen, the District must have felt bad that they weren’t getting as many people coming to their school for their programs, especially with it being a brand new school.

To not have any high schools go out to the middle schools to recruit freshmen may seem like a pretty good theory: no school can get more students by recruiting if no schools are allowed to recruit. However, this may end up hurting the students in the long run.

If an eighth grader is in the newspaper staff at their middle school, it would make sense for them to want to join the newspaper staff again in high school. But if they know nothing about the class or program, how will they know if they really want to join it again?

They won’t.

Take Spring Hill for example. They have amazing equipment and bright, shiny new toys for their equally brand new school. However, they barely use it. They don’t produce their own newscast like Dutch Fork.

If a middle schooler were to hear that a high school has nice and rather expensive equipment for something that they’re interested in, they will want to go to that school instead of the school that actually offers the type of education that they’re looking for.

The choice of the district trying to “even the playing field” by taking away something that is important to not only programs in the high schools but also to the futures of the middle schoolers is not a great one.

A better idea might be to just limit how many times the high schoolers are able to go out and recruit.

Story by Haley Dixon