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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Lots of seats available in Pasco County schools



School choice application seasons is officially closed for Pasco County schools. But if families want to move their kids around as the first day of classes nears, they have plenty of options.

District projections indicate that 31 of 46 elementary schools, 12 of 15 middle schools and 10 of 13 high schools are expected to have open seats this year, with some schools nearly half empty. Hudson High is estimated to sit at 68 percent of capacity, with Crews Lake Middle in Shady Hills at 58 percent capacity and several elementary schools including Lacoochee, Fox Hollow, Gulf Highlands and Cotee River all hovering around 65 percent capacity.

Meanwhile, a handful of schools look to have many more students than they're built for, including Hudson Elementary (127 percent of capacity), Oakstead Elementary (131 percent) and Seven Oaks Elementary (138 percent); Long Middle (118 percent) and Weightman Middle (120 percent); and Wiregrass Ranch High (116 percent), and Land O'Lakes and Zephyrhills high schools (110 percent each). Those numbers come even after the district built new schools and redrew attendance boundaries.

At the same time, parents have increasingly availed themselves of other choices besides switching traditional public schools. This year the district projects 579 students will participate in the McKay program (compared to 493 students who participated in the private school McKay program last year); 2,073 students in home schooling (2,121 last year); and 2,208 students attending a charter school (1,974 last year).

District officials expect to have a better handle on enrollment after the fifth day of classes. Students might see classroom assignments change depending on how good the projections (attached below) turn out to be. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 2:24pm]


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