Pinellas zoning changes get initial approval; more detailed maps are out
The Pinellas County School Board gave initial approval Tuesday to proposed school zoning changes that will affect about 900 middle and high school students in the fall.
The 7-0 vote came after only five parents objected to the changes, which will impact five of 15 high schools and 11 of 16 middle schools. The final vote will be Feb. 8.
During the meeting, several parents asked the board to consider allowing their younger children to follow an older sibling into a school that would no longer be their home school.
“I don’t think it’s fair for siblings to be split,” Mariusz Baginski, who lives in the Highland Woods neighborhood, told The Gradebook.
Under the proposed changes, Baginski’s oldest daughter would continue to attend Palm Harbor University High, but his youngest, now at Palm Harbor Middle, would end up at Dunedin High.
At least one board member sympathized, but most were mum on the sibling issue. Board chairwoman Carol Cook said it’s possible the plan could be tweaked to accommodate siblings but, “I didn’t get the sense the board was going to change this position.”
“At some point in time, the grandfathering has to be phased out ... to stop the ebb and flow of boundaries,” she also said.
At least one parent was happy with the proposed changes - assuming they stick. One of Arlene Dones’ daughters attends Dunedin High, even though the family lives less than two miles from Palm Harbor University High. Under the proposed change, she would be re-zoned into the latter.
“That is a great decision, guys,” she told the board.