Palm Beach County School Board to move 332 Boca Raton students to new elementary schools next year

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The Palm Beach County School Board approved these boundaries for Boca Raton elementary schools. (Palm Beach County School District)

More than 300 Boca Raton students will move to new elementary schools next year under a plan approved on Wednesday by the Palm Beach County School Board.

The plan, designed to relieve crowding at popular Calusa Elementary School, was controversial when the district first proposed the attendance zone changes last year. But no one spoke against it on Wednesday.

The district made several changes after complaints from residents of the Casa Bella neighborhood west of Delray Beach, who did not want their children to leave Calusa. The district allowed them to stay and to also have priority at Morikami Park Elementary School, an International Baccalaureate magnet school close to their homes.

The plan moves 332 students to new schools next year: 165 Calusa students would move to J.C. Mitchell and Whispering Pines elementary schools, while 67 Whispering Pines students would head to Sunrise Park Elementary and 100 J.C. Mitchell students would transfer to Addison Mizner and Boca Raton elementary schools.

All the schools have room for more students, but Calusa would remain overcrowded, at 102 percent of its capacity next year.

Despite the attendance zone change, school district projections show Calusa, which has 1,237 students now, will remain crowded in the coming years, with 1,106 students in 2019, or 107 percent of capacity.

Members of the Advisory Boundary Committee, which makes attendance zone recommendations to the School Board, said at least 400 students needed to leave Calusa to avoid another boundary change in the next few years.

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Author: Chris Salamone

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