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Pasco County School officials to present rezoning changes

Posted at 6:20 AM, Nov 17, 2020

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — The Pasco County School District will present plans for rezoning at a public hearing on Tuesday during the school board meeting.

Officials are opening Starkey Ranch K-8 School. It will be a magnet school.

“We’ve been planning this for quite some time,” said Chris Williams, Director of Planning for Pasco County Schools.

The new school will be the first K-8 in the district.

“Since it’s being built in a subdivision, in the Starkey Ranch subdivision, we’re proposing to draw the boundaries and have a boundary for that subdivision. But then any other spaces that we have available in that school are going to be open for folks to apply to, to go to that school as a magnet school,” said Williams.

Officials will also propose other boundaries to be adjusted to accommodate future growth and ensure parts of neighborhoods are zoned for the same school.

Staff recommend boundary changes to:

  • Longleaf Elementary
  • Odessa Elementary
  • River Ridge Middle
  • Watergrass Elementary
  • Wesley Chapel Elementary

The changes would be effective on July 1, 2021.

Leaders are hoping the appeal of the new Starkey Ranch magnet school will pull students from other schools to help with overcrowding all over the district.

Officials say they anticipate continued growth of about 1,000 to 2,000 students a year for the immediate future as more people continue to move to Pasco County.

Every time the district builds and opens a new school, it has to rezone, which has been multiple times over the past few years.

“It’s certainly not unusual in a school district that’s growing like ours and having to build new capacities to take care of that to have a rezoning every year. It’s not uncommon,” said Williams.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m.