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Proposed new attendance zones unveiled for Hudson-area elementary schools

Hundreds of students would shift as the district closes down Hudson Elementary.

Northwest, Gulf Highlands and Fox Hollow elementary schools in western Pasco County all could see hundreds of new students next fall, as part of a proposal to redraw attendance zones along the U.S. 19 corridor after the closure of long-struggling Hudson Elementary.

The recommended map, released late Monday, would send about 250 children — half of Hudson’s current student body — to Northwest, and the other half to Gulf Highlands. To create space in Gulf Highlands, the plan also calls for taking a piece of its current zone, roughly south of Jasmine Boulevard, and shifting it into Fox Hollow Elementary.

Each of the schools currently has about 20 percent of its available seats unused. As proposed, Fox Hollow would grow to be 96 percent filled, Gulf Highlands would sit at 109 percent of its capacity and Northwest would land at 112 percent of its permanent size.

Northwest is slated for a construction project in 2020-21, which would include added classrooms.

The changes would require School Board approval. The district plans a parent night at 5:30 p.m. March 11 at Hudson Elementary to review the map, with a board public hearing set for April 7.

Final action would be scheduled for the board’s April 21 meeting.

The state also still must authorize the district’s plan to shutter Hudson Elementary. District officials have said they do not anticipate any resistance, but they are sending representatives to Tallahassee for the State Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, where the plan is on the agenda.

District and school leaders, including parents, began meeting Tuesday to prepare for the transition to the new school configuration.

Still, some charter school operators already have solicited the district to take over the school, if the State Board does not vote for the district’s request.

Related: Closing Hudson Elementary School still requires state approval

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