- January 8, 2020
With multiple new schools in the pipeline for Horizon West, Orange County Public Schools officials recently met with the community to discuss various rezoning options.
In a virtual community meeting Wednesday, March 3, attendees were able to see the district’s proposals for these rezonings, which will affect a handful of schools in the West Orange County area.
Two targeted rezonings — those that affect a small area with a limited number of students involved — are proposed for the 2021-22 school year. There also are three relief-school rezonings proposed for the 2022-23 school year.
The first targeted rezoning affects the Sanctuary at Lakes of Windermere neighborhood. At the elementary-school level, about 15 students living there would be moved from Independence Elementary to Sunset Park Elementary. At the middle-school level, eight students in that neighborhood would switch from Bridgewater Middle to Horizon West Middle.
The second target rezoning affects the Hamilton Gardens subdivision, near Hamlin Town Center. Here, eight high school students would be moved from the West Orange High attendance zone to Horizon High.
For relief-school rezonings, the first is for Site 132-M-W-4, a new middle school opening near the Horizon West town center in August 2022. The rezoning mainly affects Bridgewater and SunRidge middle schools, with a small number of students at Horizon West Middle affected by the first option.
“The goal of the rezoning for the 132 (site) is to balance the numbers between SunRidge Middle, Bridgewater and Horizon West,” said Renata Parobczy, OCPS senior administrator of student enrollment and geographic information system.
The second option would mostly affect SunRidge Middle and the new school, as OCPS would add additional area from the SunRidge zone to Site 132-M-W-4. Option No. 3 is similar but moves one more subdivision from the SunRidge zone to Site 132-M-W-4.
There are two elementary relief rezonings — one for Site 89-E-W-4 in the Horizon West town center area, and the other for Site 114-E-W-4 off Seidel Road.
Site 89-E-W-4 affects Water Spring and Whispering Oak elementary schools. Site 114-E-W-4 mainly affects Castleview, Water Spring and Summerlake elementary schools.
“The goal of this rezoning is actually to relieve Whispering Oak and Water Spring, and some … we’re also including a small portion of Castleview into the rezoning, and Keene’s Crossing and Independence will also be part of some of the options,” Parobczy said.
There are five options for the two rezonings. Three of those include Independence and Keene’s Crossing elementary schools. Parobczy reminded parents that there are two additional elementary schools — one of which is site 126-E-W-4 coming in 2027 — on the way to help alleviate Water Spring’s enrollment numbers.
Some attendees asked Dr. Carol McGowin, director of student enrollment, how OCPS decides which students get rezoned. McGowin said it’s a multifaceted approach based on geography, infrastructure and more.
“We try not to split neighborhoods,” McGowin said. “Sometimes large-plan communities are divided by their neighborhoods. We look for — and part of it is is looking to have an appropriate number of students within the school — but we do look at the road infrastructure, and we look at neighborhoods. We look at the geography in general to try to get our zones.”