Would proposed IB program at John Hopkins compete with Sanderlin K-8?
Superintendent Mike Grego is making his pitch Tuesday to the School Board to expand magnet programs in Pinellas County, adding magnets to five schools. One of the questions to arise from the proposal is whether the addition of an International Baccalaureate program at John Hopkins Middle would compete with the existing IB program at Sanderlin K-8.
The two schools are less than two miles apart in the Midtown area. Sanderlin K-8 has built its IB program over time, adding the middle school grades just recently. Its program has grown in popularity, but still doesn't have the draw of some of the fundamental schools or other magnets.
This year, more than 400 students applied for 66 sixth grade seats at Sanderlin. Of those, 164 were ineligible for the program and only 105 ranked it their first choice.
Grego said Tuesday that he believes the two programs won't compete with each other for students. He said that Sanderlin has a limited number of seats available for middle schools students, while John Hopkins has more space. The two schools also would offer families different choices. Sanderlin might appeal to a family looking for a small school environment, while John Hopkins would provide students with a more traditional middle school experience.
Another question not answered in the proposal is whether the addition of Tyrone Middle as a feeder technology school means that there won't be the previously considered K-8 model at Gulf Beaches Elementary and Kings Highway Elementary. Both of the elementaries will open in the fall as technology magnets and district officials had said that they might add middle school grades to the sites in the future.