A committee is scheduled to meet on the morning of Oct. 13 at Oakstead Elementary School to work on a recommendation for boundaries for a new Pasco County elementary school being built in the Bexley Ranch subdivision in Land O’ Lakes.
The new school, scheduled to open in the fall of 2017, is now under construction at 4380 Ballantrae Blvd.
It is intended to relieve crowding at Oakstead and Odessa elementary schools.
During boundary deliberations, the district may also consider recommending a shift in the boundaries between Oakstead and Lake Myrtle elementary schools, to provide additional relief to Oakstead and to help increase Lake Myrtle’s enrollment. Lake Myrtle is operating below capacity and can accommodate more students.
Oakstead Elementary, at 19925 Lake Patience Road in Land O’ Lakes, has a permanent capacity of 762 students, with an enrollment of 1,095 students, and a total of 1,457 students living within its boundaries. That puts the school at 705 students over its capacity.
Odessa Elementary, at 12810 Interlaken Road in New Port Richey, has a permanent capacity of 762 students, but had 1,000 students enrolled last year, and a total of 1,058 students living within its boundaries. That puts the school at 296 students over its capacity.
Lake Myrtle Elementary, at 22844 Weeks Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes, on the other hand, has room to grow. Its permanent capacity is 736. It had 587 enrolled students, with 570 of those living within its boundaries. So, it is operating at 166 students below capacity.
While the district needs new schools to provide a place for students to learn, the practice of drawing boundaries for them always sparks controversy. Passions run high, as parents outline the various problems they envision if their child is reassigned to a new school, or — in some cases — is not. Sometimes the complaints are about academic opportunities, but often they involve day care or the ability to be involved in school activities.
Under district policy, when making recommendations, the school boundary committee should propose boundaries that:
- Provide a balance of racial and economic diversity among populations served
- Maintain school feeder patterns to the greatest extent possible
- Provide room for future growth and the optimum use of schools within the proposed boundaries
- Provide for safe and efficient transportations for students, to and from school
- To the extent possible, incorporate complete neighborhood communities within the boundaries
- To the extent possible, consider long-term construction plans to create as much stability as possible to areas affected by the proposed boundary changes
Anyone is welcome to attend the boundary committee meetings, but only committee members are permitted to take part in the discussions.
A parent meeting regarding the proposed boundaries has been scheduled for Nov. 1, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Oakstead Elementary School, 19925 Lake Patience Road in Land O’ Lakes.
The meeting will be in the school’s cafeteria.
Those interested are invited to hear the presentation, offer input and ask questions at that meeting.
School boundary committee meeting
When: Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Oakstead Elementary, 19925 Lake Patience Road, Land O’ Lakes
All are welcome. Only committee members are allowed to participate in the discussion.
Parent meeting on proposed boundaries
When: Nov. 1, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Oakstead Elementary School, 19925 Lake Patience Road, Land O’ Lakes. The meeting will be in the cafeteria.
Those interested are invited to hear the presentation, offer input and ask questions.
Published October 12, 2016