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Lamb Elementary boundary plan gets parents' input

Published Jan. 8, 2015

RIVERVIEW — Parents expressed varied opinions at a school district community forum Tuesday about proposed changes to school attendance boundaries as the district makes room for Lamb Elementary School, currently under construction off 78th Street and scheduled to open in August 2015.

About two dozen parents attended the open house at Giunta Middle School in Riverview to view maps of the proposed boundaries of Frost and Ippolito elementary schools, which will be impacted to balance enrollment among the three pre-kindergarten through fifth grade elementary schools.

Rapid growth has led to new developments and families moving into the community, requiring the new school.

Lamb Elementary School will draw students from neighborhoods in and surrounding Progress Village, Brandon Town Center and pockets of Providence Lakes Boulevard and Providence Road.

Parent Cecila Knighton was disappointed to find out her 5-year-old son Zaylen, who currently attends pre-kindergarten at Frost, will be required to move to the newly built Lamb Elementary in August.

"I didn't really like it because he's gotten used to his teachers and I don't want him to be distracted," said Knighton. "I want him to learn the best way he knows how."

Other parents in attendance, such as Rose Salmon of Riverview, seemed relieved that the proposed changes would not impact their kids.

"I didn't want them in another school because they have friends and like their teachers," she noted of her son and daughter who attend Frost Elementary. "I'd rather they stay at their school than go to a new school and have to start over again."

Pabozi Ani is a father of two children at Frost Elementary who will return again next summer.

"I didn't want them to have to change schools," Ani said.

Lamb Elementary School will be able to hold as many as 950 students. District officials say they expect school enrollment to be under capacity, but last year, a flood of new students moved into the area where Thompson Elementary was built, and the school opened at capacity.

"That experience showed us that a new elementary school might be more popular than the school student's attend," said Lorraine Duffy Suarez, a general manager with the district.

The proposed boundaries are not final until approved by the Hillsborough County School Board, which is scheduled to consider the issue in the next few weeks.

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