Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas gives initial okay to elementary zoning changes

The Pinellas County School Board waded into a thicket of tangled zoning issues Tuesday and emerged with two potentially significant tweaks — and more time to think about them.

One proposal supported by a board majority would scale back a three-way zoning swap between Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor and Dunedin Highland middle schools. In its place, a single chunk on the east edge of Dunedin's zone would be moved into Safety Harbor's, bringing 65 sixth-graders with it this fall.

The second proposal would add 37 ninth-graders to the zone for highly coveted Palm Harbor University High School. Their neighborhoods are now in the southeast corner of Tarpon Spring High's zone, along Lake Tarpon.

Board member Robin Wikle supported the change, but acknowledged it could add to Palm Harbor's overcrowding. "The concern will be when there's a chance we're hauling five more portables out there to add to the 39," she said.

The board tackled zoning at both its regularly scheduled meeting and a special workshop.

At the former, it voted unanimously to give initial approval to elementary school zoning changes that will affect 20 schools and about 400 incoming kindergarten students. At the latter, it indicated no major concerns with those changes, but wrestled with some of the middle and high school plans.

Safety Harbor Middle parents have rallied against the rezoning, worried about changes in the school's atmosphere and whispering about Dunedin Highland's perceived discipline problems. The initial proposal called for part of Safety Harbor's zone to be shifted into Palm Harbor's, part of Palm Harbor's zone to be shifted into Dunedin Highland's, and two pieces of Dunedin Highland's zone to be shifted into Safety Harbor's.

"It seems like we're moving more kids than we have to," said board member Peggy O'Shea.

The board directed superintendent Julie Janssen to move forward with a simpler plan with less impact.

"It's better but I don't think it's enough," said Safety Harbor parent Richard Ireland, who had earlier delivered a petition with 500 signatures to the board. "We still have a chunk of Dunedin coming across U.S. 19."

On the high school piece, board members also directed Janssen to come up with a recommendation for a portion of the Palm Harbor University High zone that sits within Dunedin city limits. Board members were divided about whether that sliver and its 24 soon-to-be ninth-graders should be rezoned into Dunedin High.

The board initially planned to take a final vote on the middle and high school changes on Feb. 8, then put it off until Feb. 22. Tuesday, they put it off again, until March 15 — the same day they'll take a final vote on the elementary changes.

Ron Matus can be reached at matus@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8873.

Pinellas gives initial okay to elementary zoning changes 02/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  2. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  3. Bucs start strong vs. Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — On his worst pass of Thursday's preseason game against the Jaguars, Jameis Winston threw a ball from the seat of his pants toward the end zone and it appeared to be intercepted by safety Barry Church.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown of the first half on a 2-yard run, squeaking past Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter.
  4. Evening update: Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic, second wave follows

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 8 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  5. Trump 'beautiful statues' tweets roil Tampa Bay's own Confederate debate

    National

    It started Thursday at 9:07 a.m., as it does so often these days, with a tweet:

    The Memoria in Aeterna Confederate monument stands in front of the old Hillsborough County Courthouse. Hillsborough County Commissioners voted 4-2 last month to move it to a private cemetery in Brandon before voting again this week to put a deadline on a public sector fundraising campaign to pay part of the cost. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]