When the new school opens on West Story Road in August, as many 358 Winter Garden and Ocoee elementary students will have to report to different schools if they aren’t granted a “grandfathered transfer.”
When the Orange County School Board approved the new site for Maxey Elementary School, there was one problem: the new school at 602 E. Story Road is located within the attendance zone of Dillard Street Elementary School.
The School Board approved school rezonings at its Jan. 9 meeting to accommodate the new location, and this modification affects students at the new campus of Maxey Elementary, as well as some at neighboring Dillard Street, SunRidge and Ocoee elementaries.
The new zones take effect when the 2018-19 school year commences in August. Most of the students who live in the new school zone reside in the area north of West Colonial Drive, east of Dillard Street and west of Ninth Street.
Shari Bobinski, senior manager of media promotions with Orange County Public Schools, said 358 students are affected by the rezoning: 211 from Dillard Street to Maxey; and 47 to Dillard Street, 84 to Ocoee and 16 to SunRidge from Maxey.
According to Orange County Public Schools, some students will qualify for a “grandfathered transfer.”
This will apply to those who have been rezoned by OCPS two or more times during a school level at their current address or who have been rezoned from an established school to another established school. In this case, the student may remain at the existing school instead of being assigned to the rezoned school or rezoned for the fifth- or eighth-grade year.
However, transportation is not provided by OCPS, and there is no transfer eligibility for siblings who do not meet the same criteria for a grandfathered transfer.
In developing rezoning options, OCPS’s Student Enrollment Department considers one or more of these factors: anticipated growth and development within the attendance zone; facility design capacity for each affected school; distances and duration of student travel; school feeder patterns; and adverse impacts to neighborhoods, residential subdivisions or other discrete residential areas.
The current 38,000-square-foot Maxey Elementary campus, at 1100 E. Maple St., is more than 50 years old. Lauren Roth, with the Facilities Communications Department with OCPS, said the School Board doesn’t plan to use the site for another school.
“There is a possibility it may be used for a project that would result in a transportation center and a revamped Westside Tech … campus,” she said.
The new campus will afford students the chance to experience multiple arts through music, dance and creative art — it will become a performing-arts academy when it opens in the fall.
“I am excited about the new opportunities the new facility will bring to our students and the community,” Maxey Principal Carletta Davis-Wilson said. “The school will be a beautiful focal point in the Winter Garden community and will offer the newest technological features to ensure student engagement and safety. Classrooms will be equipped with the most up-to-date digital infrastructure and learning environment to help prepare learners for the digital economy.”
In addition, three Head Start portables are being added to the campus.
Davis-Wilson said staff likely will begin moving in at the end of this school year. Families and community members will be offered a “sneak peak” before school starts in August. The school, No. 127 on the list of schools benefiting from the sales-tax referendum, cost $18.6 million.