The Palm Beach County School Board will take its first look at plans to relieve crowding at Calusa Elementary School in Boca Raton when it meets for a workshop at 4 p.m. Wednesday at district headquarters.
The proposal chips away at Calusa’s enrollment of 1,204, by moving 205 students in more than 60 neighborhoods to other schools. In order to make room at those schools, about 167 other students would also have to change schools.
If approved, the proposal would still require a second vote, likely toward the end of February, said the district’s boundary expert Jason Link.
In all, district officials estimate 372 students would be shuffling in the first year in moves that involve six elementary schools: Calusa, Addison Mizner, Boca Raton, J.C. Mitchell, Sunrise Park and Whispering Pines.
The changes permit children in grades 4 and any of their younger siblings in kindergarten through grade three already at a school would be allowed to stay at their school.
In order to make the move palatable for families of Calusa’s northernmost students who would be rezoned to Whispering Pines, Superintendent Robert Avossa is also recommending their neighborhoods be added to the list of those with priority should they want to attend the nearby magnet school: Morikami Park in Delray Beach. The neighborhoods had not been built when the school opened and priorities were assigned, according to the meeting materials.
The proposal was vetted at multiple advisory boundary committee meetings and public hearings since school began in August. Four committee members voted against the proposal because they were concerned it did not give the school, built for 836 students, enough relief.