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Rezoning requests continue to flow to Pasco County school district

Having won a concession relating to rising juniors, some Wesley Chapel families seek more changes to a proposed reassignment plan.
The Pasco County School Board meets in August 2019. [JEFFREY SOLOCHEK]
The Pasco County School Board meets in August 2019. [JEFFREY SOLOCHEK]
Published Nov. 11, 2019

Parents living in the Seven Oaks subdivision of Wesley Chapel cheered the Pasco County school district’s recent agreement to allow rising juniors to finish out their schooling at Wiregrass Ranch High alongside rising seniors.

It’s a move many requested, suggesting the teens would be best served with fewer interruptions to their learning at a critical time when they should be focused on preparing for college rather than changing campuses.

Now, some are seeking more.

Ever since the administration announced its plan for juniors, with the School Board offering its full support, parents have sent a steady stream of correspondence to district leaders looking to expand the group of students not required to leave their schools — even if their subdivision is officially rezoned into the Cypress Creek Middle-High boundaries.

Some parents asked the administration to extend the permission to remain at Wiregrass Ranch High to rising sophomores. They figured the same rationale for allowing the rising juniors to stay, such as continuity of learning and friendships, should apply to these teens as well.

It’s just another hundred or so kids remaining at Wiregrass Ranch, they said.

At least one parent suggested allowing this year’s eighth graders to be allowed to start as Wiregrass Ranch freshmen and attend all four years there.

A couple of parents asked for this year’s seventh graders at neighboring John Long Middle School, also part of the rezone, to be allowed to complete eighth grade at the middle school.

Another proposed letting everyone in both John Long Middle and Wiregrass Ranch High to move through the entire feeder pattern before the change takes hold.

One parent went so far as to ask the district to consider allowing all fifth graders to enter John Long, finish, move into Wiregrass Ranch High and graduate there, in advance of the full rezoning.

And then there were all the recommendations asking for greater consideration for school bus rides, sibling school choice, access to specialty programs, and related other matters.

How likely are these ideas to happen?

The school district’s planning director and spokeswoman said the administration had not yet discussed any additional accommodations for consideration at the School Board’s Nov. 19 meeting, where a vote is expected.

School Board chairwoman Alison Crumbley said she did not anticipate changes to the proposal, noting that the more students that aren’t moved, the less the crowding is solved and the fewer seats are filled in the brand new middle school classrooms at Cypress Creek.

“If we didn’t have to rezone at all, we wouldn’t do it,” Crumbley said. “We hate it.”

Still, she added, the board has requested more information about how the student numbers would look if any of these requests were to come to pass.

“It’s only fair,” Crumbley said. “They asked.”

Related: <b>RELATED: </b> Pasco parents have their say on school rezoning


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