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Windermere Observer Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 3 years ago

Board members pick WOHS, MetroWest Elementary rezones

Rezones will not be official until members vote at a public hearing.
by: Zak Kerr Staff Writer/Reporter

Ed. note: Open images in new window to enlarge.

ORANGE COUNTY  Once the relief school for West Orange High opens next summer on Winter Garden-Vineland Road, Warrior Nation’s territory likely will shrink to include Oakland, virtually all of Winter Garden and snippets of Ocoee and unincorporated Orange County on the edges.

That includes McKinnon Road as part of the border, with a school split among various side roads shooting off it, such as Alysia Dickerson’s street.

The second option has a subtle difference of children within State Road 429, Tilden Road and County Road 535 attending the relief school.

“I’m not really in favor of one drawing or another, but I think it would be unfortunate to take homes that are in the Windermere community and carve them out and send them to a school that’s not their community,” Dickerson told Orange County School Board members at their Jan. 28 rule development workshop. “I’m not against West Orange. We’ve been happy there. … But right now, it’s a school that includes Winter Garden and Windermere. In the future, with the new lines, it will actually be a Winter Garden school — versus a Windermere school as far as community goes. … That, to me, is taking my children away from everyone they know.”

Board members met for the workshop to discuss the various options for rezoning Orange County Public Schools staff had presented earlier in January. They decided to advertise Option 2, which further shrinks West Orange High’s zone by marking all homes south of Stoneybrook West Parkway and west of County Road 535 for the relief school.

That includes District 4 Board Member Pam Gould, who represents most of West Orange County.

“Option 2 gives us some flexibility for growth there without hitting the ceiling too fast,” Gould said. She recommended staff look at a targeted rezoning of Dickerson’s neighborhood and see possible effects.

Option 2 would divide West Orange High from its relief school via a zigzag moving west from Lake Rhea to McKinnon Road but north of Lake Roberts Court, after which the boundary would follow McKinnon Road to Lake Butler Boulevard. The divider goes west on that road until C.R. 535, which it moves north along until it follows Stoneybrook West Parkway to its end at Avalon Road. West of that intersection, virtually all houses south of Lake Avalon’s northern shore would be zoned for the relief school.

“We hope we don’t have to touch them again for a long time,” Director of Student Enrollment Carol McGowin said. “For Option 1, 312 families support (it) while 151 do not. For Option 2, 299 families support (it) while 165 do not. For Option 3, 256 families support (it) and 206 do not. For Option 4, 93 families support (it) while 370 oppose it.”

OCPS officials said all proposed options included considerations of balanced school populations, enrollment projections, demographics, free and reduced meals, English-Language Learners and Exceptional Student Education.

The board will make its final decision at 4:30 p.m. March 8 at the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center, 445 W. Amelia St., Orlando.


At the same Jan. 28 meeting, board members supported Option 2 for MetroWest Elementary’s rezone with its relief school, too. This would affect six elementary schools’ zones within the South Apopka-Vineland Road corridor.

A complicated rezone to add a relief school for Metrowest Elementary would alter the zones of six schools.

MetroWest Elementary would retain only its current territory north of a border along Valencia College’s northern edge, Raleigh Street and Westpointe Boulevard. The relief school would obtain all of today’s MetroWest Elementary students south of that border, except for some in the southeast corner added to Windy Ridge Elementary.

Windy Ridge Elementary would add most present MetroWest Elementary land east of South Hiawassee Road and south of Bill Frederick Park’s northern end. It would lose students residing south of Conroy Road to Palm Lake Elementary. Palm Lake Elementary also would take on a small pocket of current Windermere Elementary’s zone along Bay Side Drive.

Finally, Dr. Phillips Elementary would gain all current Palm Lake Elementary territory east of South Apopka-Vineland Road and south of Cedar Pine Drive and Great Cove Drive, except for Sand Pines Estates.

This map also will not be finalized until members vote in a public hearing, likely also March 8.


Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].

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