LITHIA, Fla. — Some parents in the Fishhawk community are pushing back against a district rezoning plan. They are asking school board leaders to rezone more kids than currently planned out of the overcrowded Barrington Middle School.
Hillsborough County School leaders are expected to hear a plan to change the boundaries of Barrington Middle School and Rodgers Middle School on Tuesday, February 4.
Currently, the district is planning to shift 223 students from Barrington Middle School to Rodgers Middle School to ease overcrowding at Barrington, a school that is at 109% capacity.
Under the plan, students from the Riverglen, Countryside Village, Bell Creek Hammocks North, Paddock Oaks, Cammellia Estate and Boyette Springs neighborhoods are proposed to be reassigned from Barrington to Rodgers. It would be effective in August 2020.
According to a district summary of the boundary change, the goal of this plan is to decrease enrollment at Barrington for two years by reassigning 223 students from Barrington to Rodgers.
The district is projecting that Barrington Middle School will be down to 100% for next school year. However, a district report said the school board must account for incoming 8th graders, if they have the option to remain at the school without transportation. These remaining 8th graders are not included in the projections.
Proposed Barrington Middle School Enrollment
|Projected Year||Current Utilization||Proposed Utilization|
|2020-2021 School Year 40th Day Enrollment||109%||99%|
|2021-2022 School Year 40th Day Enrollment||115%||105%|
Then, with the use of the four modulars, or portable classrooms, located at Barrington, the school will be below 100% utilization until August 2022, according to the district's summary.
No later than February 2021, staff will have to conduct another middle school boundary change proposal in order to lower the number of students at Barrington, Randall, Shields and Eisenhower by creating a new attendance boundary change for middle school “UU” to open in August 2022, the summary states.
But, some Barrington parents said those changes are not coming fast enough and kids cannot wait two more years at a school that's overcapacity.
"We understand the district doesn't have money to build tons of new schools or the land or resources and then hiring teachers and such, but utilize the schools that are under capacity," said Jessica Edlund, a Barrington parent and former Title I teacher.
There is a second reading of this plan expected on February 18. If anything changes from the February 4 meeting, the district may need additional readings, according to a district spokesperson.