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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

No resolution in southwest Pasco attendance rezoning effort

This is one map the rezoning committee is considering for southwest Pasco middle and high schools.

Pasco County School District

This is one map the rezoning committee is considering for southwest Pasco middle and high schools.

7

November

Southwest Pasco County families hoping to know where their children might go to middle and high school next fall got no answers Monday from the committee assigned to set new attendance boundaries for the region.

At odds over which neighborhoods to take out of crowded, growing Mitchell High and Seven Springs Middle, the committee decided to bring five options to a Nov. 14 community meeting for more input.

"I think it will help us as a group come to a decision," said parent Derek Delgardo, representing Gulf Middle School on the panel.

The committee is set to reconvene on Nov. 17 to settle on a map, using community input as a guide.

But parents who watched the committee deliberate were far from optimistic. They've watched their neighbors fight over the rezoning since August, when news of the changes first surfaced, and hoped for some solid plan to discuss.

"They've managed to pit two portions of our community against each other," observed Christine Stahl, a Trinity area parent active in the effort.

"It's Longleaf vs. the west side," another observer suggested. "Who will be louder?"

She referred to the plans set to come forth next week. In one, the Longleaf subdivision would be rezoned from Mitchell and Seven Springs into the River Ridge middle-high zone. In another, several neighborhoods west of Seven Springs Boulevard, such as Oak Ridge and Riverside Estates, would be moved to Anclote High and Paul R. Smith Middle to ease the crowding.

The fates of Hunting Creek and Greenbook subdivisions, less than a mile north of Mitchell, also hang in the balance.

Carrie Winans, a committee member representing Anclote High, said she is anxious to hear how the different communities respond to the options. They'll have to hear that they're not the only ones facing the same concerns, she noted.

"Someone has to move, as heartbreaking as it is," Winans said. 

The group is focusing on Maps 4 and 5, with some possible tweaks, in its agenda packet. See the details here.

River Ridge High principal Toni Zetzsche said she hoped the end result would play out fairly. She noted that many issues are in flux, including future crowding at her campus as more homes get built.

"It's really hard," she said. "We want to keep everyone we have, and that just isn't an option."

The parent meeting is 6 p.m. at the River Ridge High performing arts center. The School Board plans to make its final decision on boundaries by February 1, in time for school choice applications.

[Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2016 2:01pm]

    

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