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Plans to rezone Alachua County Public Schools set for fall 2022

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 7:11 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County elementary schools were last rezoned in the early 2000s. Then, nearly 20 years before that was the last time all K-12 schools were rezoned in 1985, according to Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon.

She said a comprehensive rezoning plan is long overdue. She’s currently mapping out a plan to address the imbalance of race, financial wealth, and school capacities across the county.

“The entire end goal is to provide high-quality education to all of our students and diverse schools and I think that’s important for everyone and it will collectively improve the quality of the district schools,” Dr. Simon said.

Dr. Simon said they’re seeing an issue of over-enrollment in west-side schools and under-enrollment in east-side schools.

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“When our schools are under-enrolled, regardless of where they are, we aren’t as efficient with our funding and that’s a concern because that eats into our instructional dollars and it impacts how well we can provide instructional resources to our schools,” said Dr. Simon.

In order to balance out school resources, the plan includes ideas of cluster zoning and magnet programs. This would give students choices on what they’d like to focus on.

“We’re hoping with the cluster zoning specifically is that families will have choice within their school selection and they can find a program to help meet their student’s needs,” said Dr. Simons. “We also have families who have multiple children and all of our children don’t have the same interests, so they will also find in the cluster model opportunities for each child to have a learning environment that aligns more with their interests.”

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A finalized plan is expected in the spring of 2022 to go into effect fall of 2022. Until then, the ACPS will be hosting ongoing listening sessions, distributing surveys to the community, and utilizing their website to share information and accept ideas.

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