Staff asked to come up with another way to relieve crowding at Boca school

Palm Beach Post file photo.

Palm Beach Post file photo.

UPDATE:  District staff will go back to the drawing board to come up with another alternative to relieve crowding at Calusa Elementary – and the plan is likely to involve more students in the shuffle. That’s because the boundary advisory committee wants to see something that brings the school within capacity faster.

The school needs to drop about 300 students from its rolls to return to levels the campus was built to accommodate.

The meeting was attended by about 80 residents from the affected neighborhoods, who spoke against various aspects of the plans.  The committee will meet again Oct. 18.

While boundary committee meetings set aside limited time for comment, any plan that moves out of this phase is then presented at community hearings with more time for residents to comment.

Original post: Once again Calusa Elementary is among the five most crowded schools in the county, but Thursday night a district advisory committee will review two plans to redraw boundaries to relieve the problem.

Whittling the population at the one school will require a shuffle of hundreds of students that will have ripple effects in at least five others in the Boca Raton area.

Calusa Elementary, at 2051 Clint Moore Rd., counted 1,197 students on the 11th day of classes, 357 more than the school was built to hold. The district has planted 14 portable classrooms on the campus – three of them now considered outdated because they are wooden. But even with that additional space, the school is at 119 percent of its capacity.

The meeting is open to public, with 30 minutes set aside for comment. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at Palm Beach County School District headquarters at 3300 Forest Hill Blvd.

“This is the very beginning of the process,” said Jason Link, the district’s manager for enrollment and demographics. The committee will hear comment and discuss and refine these proposals before the next step: community meetings. Those meetings will give parents more time to ask questions and comment on the suggested boundary shifts.

Two proposals are up for discussion Thursday.

Plan 1 would move 412 students total this way:  

138 students move from Calusa to JC Mitchell

85 from Calusa to Whispering Pines

82 from JC Mitchell to Addison Mizner

18 from JC Mitchell to Boca Raton Elementary

89 from Whispering Pines to Sunrise Park

This  plan would bring the enrollment numbers within Calusa’s capacity as counted with the portable classrooms and keeps other schools within their limits as well.

Plan 2 shuffles 443 students this way: (italics indicate moves different from those in Plan 1)

138 from Calusa to JC Mitchell

93 from Calusa to Pine Grove 

45 from Calusa to Whispering Pines – 40 fewer than Plan 1

82 from JC Mitchell to Addison

18 fro JC Mitchell to Boca Raton Elementary

67 Whispering Pines to Sunrise Park – 22 fewer move than Plan 1

 

The committee will also discuss crowding at Forest Hill High School, Western Pines Middle and Jupiter Elementary, though no specific boundary changes have yet been proposed.

 

 

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