Is Clearwater High in mid Pinellas or north Pinellas?
Well ... when it comes to some programs in Pinellas' proposed new student assignment plan, it may soon be in mid Pinellas. Which means an incoming ninth grader who lives in the Clearwater High zone and who wants to get into an IB program may be headed to the new one proposed for Largo High, not the established one at Palm Harbor University High.
Previously, students anywhere in the district could go to either of the existing IB programs (if they were accepted). But with the proposal for a third at Largo, the proposed student assignment plan divided the district into three application areas. Initially, the Palm Harbor program was set for students zoned for Clearwater, Countryside, Dunedin, East Lake, Palm Harbor University and Tarpon Springs high schools; the Largo program, for students zoned for Dixie Hollins, Largo, Pinellas Park and Seminole high schools; and the St. Pete High program, for students zoned for Boca Ciega, Gibbs, Lakewood, Northeast and St. Petersburg high schools.
At Monday's school board workshop, though, some members suggested putting Clearwater High into the mid-county zone. That would help with overcrowding at Palm Harbor High, they said, and help build up the new IB at Largo.
District staff is making a similar tweak for a few other programs. Which means, if it passes muster, that in a few cases it will change which career academies the students in the Clearwater High zone can apply to.
Students in all the high school zones will have to get used to similar limitations, since some magnet programs will now have designated north-, mid- and south-county application areas. (Many, though, will continue to accept students from anywhere in the district).
This thing with the application areas is complicated, and hasn't gotten much attention or ink. Parents really need to look at the draft of the district's revamped application programs handbook to get a fuller picture.