Fundamental schools still popular, tough to get into
Every year parents clamor for the Pinellas County School District to open more spots in its popular fundamental schools or to open more fundamental schools. Every year, the waiting lists to get in are long.
This year is no different. According to the latest application data, fundamental schools were among the most popular choices - and some of the toughest schools to get a space in.
Osceola Fundamental High, for instance, had 1,070 applicants for 460 seats. Of the applicants, 600 students ranked the school as their first choice. And, as demonstrated last year, most of those seats aren't truly "open." Students with priority - a sibling at the school, those who live nearby and children of employees - get first pick.
Last year, every student invited to attend Osceola Fundamental had priority. (See our story about last year's numbers.)
Madeira Beach Fundamental Middle also was a top pick this year, with 810 applicants for 232 seats. Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle had 767 applicants for 187 seats, according to the district. Pasadena Fundamental Elementary had 492 applicants, but only 72 seats. Madeira Beach Fundamental Elementary had 530 applicants and 72 spots.
Other popular choices in the school district were the International Baccalaureate programs at St. Pete High and Palm Harbor University High. (Also growing in popularity was Largo High's relatively new IB program, which hasn't yet been officially authorized.) The Cambridge program at Dixie Hollins was the most popular of the three schools that offer the rigorous college-level program. (The other two schools with Cambridge are Clearwater High and Tarpon Springs High.)