Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

School Board reviews rezoning scenarios

BROOKSVILLE — Creating school attendance zones involves more than simply shifting lines on a map.

The process sparks fundamental questions about what programs the district offers, whether to keep those programs and what new offerings might be considered in the future.

A majority of School Board members on Tuesday said they support an approach to rezoning that creates capacity for new programs at neighborhood schools and leaves existing magnet schools intact.

"I think that scenario is the most logical at this point simply because there are minimal disruptions," chairman James Yant said. "I think that will be the best for everyone and still gets the job done."

The district has to shift attendance zones for elementary and middle schools to accommodate the new, yet-to-be named K-8 school on U.S. 19 north of Weeki Wachee. The elementary portion of the school is set to open in the fall and will fill in the middle school grades starting in 2012.

The board reviewed three scenarios proffered by the district's rezoning committee.

The first approach creates boundaries based solely on student proximity to schools, and magnet schools like Challenger K-8 and Chocachatti Elementary would be changed to zone schools.

The second scenario is similar to the first, but the magnet programs are left intact.

The committee, composed of staffers from various district departments and a parent representative, recommended the third option: keep magnet programs as they are.

Using geographic imaging software with the help of the county property appraiser's office, the committee came up with new boundaries with three guiding principles, superintendent Bryan Blavatt told the board: minimize the number of current students affected; keep students as close to their schools as possible; and consider future growth patterns.

"So we're not moving students every two or three years," Blavatt said.

But the approach also would allow for new offerings at neighborhood schools to benefit students who live nearby as well as attract students from throughout the county who participate in the school choice plan, Blavatt said.

"I think we should seize this opportunity," he said.

Board members Cynthia Moore and Pat Fagan joined Yant.

"If it gets creamed by parents, we can come back with another one," Moore said.

The plan would shift more than 1,100 elementary students and about 860 middle school students to new schools. The boundaries for Pine Grove, Westside, Brooksville and Moton elementary schools would see the most significant changes.

Under the proposal, for example, an estimated 586 students assigned to Pine Grove would move to the new school, 160 Westside students would move to the new school and 189 Moton students would move to Pine Grove.

Fourth-graders headed to fifth grade next year would be allowed to stay at their current schools, but families would have to provide transportation. The changes to middle school zones would take effect starting in 2012-13.

Members John Sweeney and Dianne Bonfield hesitated to voice support for one scenario and asked for more information. Bonfield said she wanted to see the financial impact associated with each approach.

"I think it's very important for us to remember that the magnets and themes take extra allocations, and that's costly," Bonfield said.

But Bonfield and Sweeney agreed that the final attendance zones should help balance offerings throughout the district.

"For years we've been saying if we're going to have successful programs, they need to be in all of our schools," Sweeney said.

Blavatt said he would bring back financial information. He also stressed that the final plan will be adjusted based on community input.

The first public meeting is slated for Dec. 21 at Westside Elementary, and all three scenarios will be presented, Blavatt said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or tmarrero@sptimes.com.

.Fast facts

School rezoning: What's next?

6 p.m. Tuesday: First public meeting, Westside Elementary, 5400 Applegate Drive, Spring Hill.

6 p.m. Jan. 6: Second public meeting, Pine Grove Elementary, 14411 Ken Austin Parkway, Brooksville.

Jan. 11: First School Board vote

Feb. 15: Final School Board vote

On the Web

To see the recommendations:

• Using Internet Explorer, go to hernandoschools.org.

• Click on the School Board link on the left menu.

• Find E-Agenda in the left menu. Click October-December 2010 link. Click the Dec. 14 workshop link.

• Find agenda item No. 3 and click on the second link to download the PowerPoint presentation.

School Board reviews rezoning scenarios 12/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 8:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Mumford and Sons shower Amalie Arena with love in euphoric Tampa debut

    Blogs

    There are releases, and then there are releases. And minutes into their concert Wednesday at Amalie Arena, Mumford and Sons gave Tampa the latter.

    Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. FEMA to open disaster recovery center in Riverview

    Hurricanes

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will open a disaster recovery center Thursday in Riverview for Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.

  3. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  4. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest

    Health

    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]