Nearly two-thirds of Pasco students get requested school choices
Despite all the talk about rising demand for school choice in Pasco County, the number of children requesting to attend schools outside their assignment zones remained steady for the fifth consecutive year.
For 2016-17, 2,655 students requested moves through open enrollment, according to district records. Since 2011, the numbers have settled between 2,500 and 3,000 requests.
And, as has been the case since state class size requirements limited space, just under two-thirds of the requests got approved. For the coming year, 1,650 students, or 59 percent, got their choices (not including magnets).
Most of the rejections came in the district's more crowded schools, which continue to be the more asked for sites despite the relative lack of seats. The schools receiving the most inquiries were:
- Seven Oaks Elementary, 136, which is projected to be at 135 percent of capacity.
- River Ridge High School, 121, projected at 84 percent.
- Sand Pine Elementary, 116, projected at 105 percent.
- Longleaf Elementary, 115, projected at 92 percent.
- Trinity Oaks Elementary, 105, projected at 95 percent.
Longleaf and Trinity Oaks had the highest rejection rates, accepting 23 percent and 24 percent of applicants, respectively. In many instances, families ask for seats in grade levels that are full. District officials have in some cases found seats for students at "frozen schools" because of flexibility among grade levels.
Even Wiregrass Ranch High, which moved to a 10-period day because of crowding, found space for 15 students.