Dwindling enrollment at Odyssey Middle in Boynton Beach imperiled the school, and has now put it on a track to closure. But it isn’t the only school in the district that can’t fill even half its seats – and most of those schools are middle schools.
(See story on the school board meeting that is clearing path for Odyssey closure here. )
Why is that?
One big reason: Parents of middle schoolers choose not to send them to their assigned schools and they make this choice more often than parents of elementary or high schools students, according to the district’s numbers.
Of 42,269 students in grades 6-8, nearly one-third choose to attend a choice program at a school other than their home school or a charter school.
Here are three examples of how this plays out, with data supplied from the district’s boundaries department as of the February head count.
820 students attend the school built for 1,534
1,317 students live in the boundaries
175 of those attend charters; 448 attend another school in the district
113 come to Carver from outside the boundaries for reasons such as its magnet program or special education services
Congress Middle, Boynton Beach
887 students attend the school built for 1,432
1,462 students live in its boundaries
428 of those attend charter schools; 328 attend another school in the district
159 students come to Congress from outside its boundaries
750 students in a school build for 1,653
1,232 students live in its boundaries
229 students attend charter schools; 336 attend another school in the district.
The district is home to 33 middle schools. Others that are struggling to fill their desks:
Bear Lakes Middle 49 percent of capacity
Carver 53 percent
Congress 62 percent
Crestwood 45 percent
John F. Kennedy 53 percent
Lake Shore Middle 47 percent
Odyssey 50 percent
Polo Park 59 percent
Roosevelt 64 percent
Are any middle schools full?
Ten are filled near to capacity (at least 95 percent) and beyond, including: Bak MSOA, Boca Raton, Conniston, Don Estridge, Eagles Landing, Independence, Loggers Run, Omni and Western Pines.
What about high schools?
All but two of the district’s 23 high schools are filled to at least 80 percent capacity – nine are beyond capacity.