1. Gradebook

Which Pasco County schools get the most choice transfers in and out?

After two rounds of requests, some trends emerge.
Wendell Krinn Technical High School in Pasco County, which opened in August 2018, drew an additional 110 students in the first round of school choice applications. It held a second round to fill additional seats. Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times
Published May 17

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.


  1. Sandra Gero, a regional search associate at Ray and Associates, hosts a meeting at the Middleton High School auditorium and gathers public comments on what people are looking for for the next Hillsborough County School Superintendent on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Tampa. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Using public meetings and a survey, they’re painting a picture of the ideal school leader.
  2. Jeff Eakins and MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough's last two superintendents, were hired from inside the school system. So have all others since 1967. Times staff
    Go to the school district website before 8 a.m. Monday to state your case.
  3. Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, urges the Florida Board of Education to hold schools accountable for teaching the Holocaust and African-American history, as required by lawmakers in 1994. The board was considering a rule on the matter at its Sept. 20, 2019, meeting in Jacksonville. The Florida Channel
    School districts will have to report how they are providing the instruction required in Florida law.
  4. The Pasco County school district would rezone the Seven Oaks subdivision from the Wiregrass Ranch High feeder pattern to the Cypress Creek High feeder pattern, beginning in the 2020-21 school year. Pasco County school district
    The Seven Oaks subdivision is the primary target for rezoning.
  5. Fortify Florida is a new app that allows for anonymous reporting of suspected school threats. Florida Department of Education
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning says Fortify Florida, the new state-sponsored app that allows students to report potential threats, is "disrupting the education day" because the callers are anonymous, many of the tips are vague and there's no opportunity to get more information from tipsters. "I have an obligation to provide kids with a great education," Browning said. "I cannot do it with this tool, because kids are hiding behind Fortify Florida." JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |
    Vague and anonymous tips often waste law enforcement’s time and disrupt the school day, says Kurt Browning, president of Florida’s superintendents association.
  7. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘One test should not determine the rest of your life,’ Rep. Susan Valdes says.
  8. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. The Florida Channel
    School security and early learning get top billing in the first committee meetings of the looming 2020 session.
  9. This image from a Pinellas County Schools video shows an armed police officer running to respond to a fictional active shooter.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco discuss salary and benefits during negotiations on Sept. 18, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer
    The proposal is short on details, with officials saying they want to work through specifics during negotiations.