Pinellas takes first step to reopen two schools
The Pinellas County School Board gave the first greenlight to reopen two elementary schools as technology magnets in the 2014/15 school year.
Board members approved Tuesday a policy change, on first reading, that would allow the school district to reopen Gulf Beaches Elementary and Kings Highway Elementary.
To open, board members must take a final vote.
Superintendent Mike Grego proposed reopening the schools, in part, to address long waiting lists at fundamental schools and magnet programs in Pinellas, particularly the sourthern part of the county. A separate application period would be used for the two schools; it likely would open in March.
The school district closed the two elementary schools about five years ago amid budget cuts and declining enrollment. Grego is hoping to woo some parents back to the public schools from charters and private schools. Some parents have looked outside the public school system after failing to secure a spot in a coveted school in the district's lottery system.
The schools would start with elementary grades, but could be expanded in future years to include middle school grades.