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Pinellas doesn't know how many East Windsor kids found schools



When a new charter school suddenly held a second lottery days before the start of the school year, dozens of Pinellas families were left scrambling to find a new school for their kids.

Today was the first day of school, just two business days after East Windsor kicked out some of the middle school kids it had accepted months ago.

When asked how many of these students had been placed in new schools in time, a spokesman for Pinellas County Schools said they didn't know and they didn't have the time today to find out.

"The Student Assignment office would have to research that information and they do not have time today," Melanie Marquez Parra said in an email. "They are handling numerous student registrations today."

Parra also said last week that Pinellas administrators had no way of knowing how many students had been abruptly ejected from East Windsor, who held a new lottery after realizing their building would not be ready for the school year. The temporary location the principal found could hold 65 students, fewer than the number they had accepted.

Pinellas's student information system showed 101 students enrolled at East Windsor Middle Academy at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. However, Parra said that number was modified by the charter school itself, so she did not know if the 101 was reflective of the student body before the new lottery, after it, or some other number.

East Windsor's principal, Jessica Clements, has not responded to repeated phone calls and emails from the Gradebook.

Pinellas is going to review how it contracts with its charter schools because of the 'mess' created by East Windsor, said Dot Clark, the administrator who coordinates charter school applications.

[Last modified: Monday, August 18, 2014 4:03pm]


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