Brand new Citrus Ridge Academy in Davenport over capacity, turning students away

Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 17:57:04-04

One of Polk County’s newest and greatest schools is already suffering some growing pains.

Citrus Ridge Academy in Davenport is more than 100 students over capacity and Monday and Tuesday some students got turned away.

Frenetta Mason, who just moved here with her family from Philadelphia, still doesn’t know if the school has room for her son, James.

“It’s a little bit frustrating, but I’m just trying to be patient and go with the flow hopefully,” she said.

The state-of-the-art school has capacity for about 1,400 kids, kindergarten through eighth grade.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 1,520 students were enrolled -- way over the limit.

“It’s a very big mess,” said Jacqueline Sanchez, who has been trying to enroll her child for the past three weeks.

“I was coming here for three weeks, twice a week just to make sure that he came here, and he’s not able to start here,” she said.

This district spokesperson is now apologizing for the experience some of the parents went through.

The school board is now considering adding portable classrooms outside the school to accommodate the influx in students.

“The students enrolled and present here today will have a spot at Citrus Ridge,” said Jason Geary, Polk County Schools spokesman. “However, the numbers are over capacity of what the school can handle.”

Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd will meet with her staff members Thursday to hatch a plan on how to resolve the issue.

That plan will likely involve portable classrooms, hiring more teachers, or busing students to other nearby schools that have room.