Back before the class size amendment really took hold, Pasco County parents could count on nearly blanket approval of their requests to transfer their children to different district schools.
Since then, though, the approval rate has been closer to 35 percent, with about half of the campuses frozen from accepting choice applicants because they’re at 90 percent of capacity or above.
This spring, new applicants weren’t to be taken at 42 schools. But of those schools open to choice, some clear favorites emerged in the data recently released by the district. We’ll skip the pure magnets of Sanders Elementary and Krinn Technical, where every student is a transfer in.)
The school accepting the most requests was Land O’Lakes High, with 129. Right behind it were Pasco Middle with 100, San Antonio Elementary at 87 and Pasco High at 81. What’s notable about these campuses is that each offers a specialty program — International Baccalaureate at Land O’Lakes and Cambridge at the other three — that draws high interest.
Also notable, though, is that Gulf High provides IB and had more students leaving through choice (57) than arriving (43). The same is true for Anclote High, which hosts the Cambridge program and saw 59 students transfer out compared to 46 entering.
Other schools with higher levels of choice out included Cypress Creek Middle-High at 65, Hudson High at 58 and Connerton Elementary at 55. (Connerton sits close by the Sanders magnet, and its students are given priority into Sanders as a way to keep Connerton’s numbers in check.)
Stewart Middle, which is relatively close to Pasco Middle, had 51 students leave compared to just nine who transferred in.
The most lopsided movement out came at West Zephyrhills Elementary, with 20 out and zero in, and Chasco Middle, with 35 out and three in.
Since those numbers were reported, the district has held two more rounds of applications — one for open enrollment and one for magnets.
On the magnet side, 178 more moves were approved and 163 were denied. The open enrollment figures were not yet available.
District officials have been analyzing the numbers as the continue to seek different ways to make schools attractive to families and children. Their plans to add new programs and magnets on the west side were delayed when the School Board rejected a proposal to close two elementary schools and reallocate resources.