Pinellas schools chief floats idea of 2 new fundamental schools

LARGO — Pinellas school superintendent Julie Janssen on Tuesday proposed reopening two closed schools to create more fundamental seats.

Janssen offered the suggestion during a School Board workshop Tuesday as an alternative to rezoning elementary schools to deal with crowding.

The justification: parent demand, Janssen said.

Figures distributed during the workshop show what appears to be an overwhelming number of applications for the 2011-12 academic year from families seeking spots at the schools that require stricter student discipline and mandatory parent participation.

However, the data contained errors, so it was unclear Tuesday exactly how many applications were submitted.

Janssen's suggestion to re-open two schools surprised several board members who complained it comes on the heels of a recent 4-3 vote against reopening Kings Highway Elementary.

Janssen said reopening Kings Highway in Clearwater and Gulf Beaches Elementary in St. Pete Beach could ease pressure elsewhere.

In the end, the board told Janssen it would consider it as part of a larger rezoning plan.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8707.

Pinellas schools chief floats idea of 2 new fundamental schools 03/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 10:17pm]

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