By ALICIA LEONARD
The Walton County School Board (WCSB) held a preliminary workshop the afternoon of April 18, 2017, covering student population at different schools and transportation zoning.
With some elementary schools such as Maude Saunders and West DeFuniak being slightly over capacity, and others such as Mossy Head School being under capacity, along with the state-mandated school of choice being handed down from the Florida Legislature, transportation, and administration officials are looking at ways to expand school zones. They also want to discuss with parents ways to help even-out school populations and reduce transportation costs.
At the present time Mossy Head Elementary is at 54-percent capacity.
Other issues presented were school pick up zones. Staff told the board that sometimes it takes two bus runs to pick up all students; at many stops a bus can pick up to 20 students at a time.
Staff and board members were adamant about including parents in the discussion and mentioned sending out surveys and scheduling another workshop to look at the issue.
According to the presentation a possible fix would be to “modify Mossy Head Elementary School Transportation Zone east to U.S. 331 and north to Dr. Nelson Road, with minor adjustments to residential areas along U.S. 90 and CR-1087. This modification would reduce zoned student numbers at MSE (126) and WDE(83) and would increase zoned student numbers at MHS by 209 students.”
Other questions facing the district include whether to continue to transport students from outside their zones or allow parents to transport those that live outside of their respective zones. Parents have always had the choice of what school their child would attend – and would possibly still have it – but transportation might be up to those parents that wanted their child to attend outside of transport zones.
Nothing was decided except to investigate the issue further at future workshops as well as speak with parents about the issue and their preferences.
To see more on the district, upcoming meetings and workshops as well as school news, go to www.walton.k12.fl.us.
By ALICIA LEONARD