When Pasco County School Board members consider proposed boundary changes for Quail Hollow Elementary School in January, they’ll likely hear from parents who oppose the idea of shifting their children from Wesley Chapel Elementary to the reconstructed school.
About three-dozen parents and students turned out for a Dec. 8 community meeting to discuss Quail Hollow’s proposed boundary, and some parents made it clear they don’t want their children transferred out of Wesley Chapel Elementary, Pasco County Schools planning director Chris Williams said.
Quail Hollow, at 7050 Quail Hollow Blvd., in Wesley Chapel, has been closed for a massive reconstruction project, and will reopen next fall. When it does, the school will have classroom doors and walls, unlike its previous “open design,” and will have updated technology.
A committee has been working on recommending proposed boundaries, which the school board is expected to consider at its 6 p.m. hearing on Jan. 20. A second and final vote is expected at the board’s Feb. 3 meeting.
The school will have more capacity than it did before. The proposed boundaries call for shifting some students there from Wesley Chapel and Veterans elementary schools. The Veterans students would come from an area that includes the Pasco Woods apartments, Williams said.
The area that would shift Wesley Chapel to Quail Hollow includes the neighborhoods of Wesley Pointe, Villages at Wesley Chapel, Citrus Trace and Saddleridge Estates.
There are 62 students living in the area that would be reassigned from Veterans to Quail Hollow, Williams said. There are 100 students living in the area that would be reassigned from Wesley Chapel to Quail Hollow.
Veterans has a capacity of 762 students, but currently has 828, including pre-kindergarten. So, Williams said, Veterans already is over capacity and could use relief.
Wesley Chapel Elementary has a capacity of 613 students, but will have far fewer students when children who attended Quail Hollow return to their school. However, Quail Hollow has space to accommodate a greater number of children, so the committee recommended reassigning students from Wesley Chapel to Quail Hollow to provide room for growth that is expected to result from the development of Epperson Ranch South near Overpass Road.
Some parents at the community meeting voiced concerns about shifting the communities north of State Road 54 and west of Interstate 75, Williams said. Quail Hollow is a little more than a mile farther away, but parents are concerned about the traffic congestion they could encounter along State Road 54 through Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
Another concern raised at the meeting relates to the difference in Wesley Chapel and Quail Hollow’s performance. Wesley Chapel is an A school, based on the state’s criteria. Quail Hollow was a C school.
Beyond boundary changes, the district still needs to name a new principal for Quail Hollow. Superintendent Kurt Browning had intended to recommend Lane Morris, assistant principal at Gulfside Elementary School, as Quail Hollow’s principal. But Browning put that recommendation on hold after Gulfside principal Chris Clayton was placed on administrative leave pending investigation of reports he violated school district policy.
District officials do not anticipate Clayton returning to Gulfside, said Pasco County Schools spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said.
The Pasco County School Board is scheduled to take an initial vote on proposed boundary changes affecting Quail Hollow, Wesley Chapel and Veterans elementary schools at the board’s 6 p.m. meeting on Jan. 20.
The final vote is expected at the board’s 9:30 a.m. meeting on Feb. 3.
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