Parents fight to keep Cahoon Elementary School a magnet school

Posted at 11:36 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 02:41:23-05

Possible boundary changes that would impact Cahoon Elementary School have parents fighting to save the magnet school.

"Why can't my kids finish out what they started here," Julie Jones said.

Jones has 3 children who attend Cahoon Elementary School.

"Why can't it remain magnet? Why can't we keep the animal sciences (program)," Jones said.

Administrators said too many of their schools are over crowded, while other hardly have any students, which means the district needs to move students.

"Change is difficult. However, right now, we need seats for our students," Dr. Larry Sykes said.

Dr. Sykes is the assistant superintendent for outreach and school improvement. He said boundary changes are inevitable.

Dr. Sykes said Cahoon Elementary School will merge with Van Buren Middle School, making it a pre-k through grade 8 school. The magnet school would be taken way, but the science program would stay.

Parents are afraid, if the boundary changes happen, their children will not be able to attend Cahoon Elementary School. Some parents said they simply want to keep Cahoon Elementary School the way it is and not change anything about it.

"We plan to make this a great site for students to learn and to prosper and to be students for life and to be productive citizens," Dr. Sykes said.

Some parents hope the school board will say no to the proposal.

"Nothing (is) final until there's a vote. There hasn't been a vote so there is still hope," Tamara Shamburger, Hillsborough County School Board Member for District 5 said.

Some parents feel like the district has not been transparent on top of giving them mixed information.

"We can't get clarity. We are supposed to figure out what we're going to do -what our options are now- or are we supposed to keep fighting and as I told my kids I'll fight as I can," Jones said.

According to the district, the school board will vote on this issue in May; the boundary changes will impact the 2018-2019 school year.



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