The Gainesville City School System Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved limits on school choice and changes to attendance zones. The board also gave its OK to plans to expand pre-K to all elementary schools beginning this fall.
Superintendent Jeremy Williams said the next step is to send out forms in the coming weeks to parents asking them to choose where they’d like their children to attend school next year.
The deadline for those forms to be returned to the school system is March 9.
At that time, school administrators will be able to determine enrollment numbers at all six elementary schools for the next academic year.
Gainesville will now limit school choice in an effort to balance attendance at city schools and provide pre-K at each school, not just New Holland and Mundy Mill.
Parents can currently choose which elementary school their child attends, with the exception of the new Mundy Mill Academy.
Under the proposal approved on Monday, Gainesville’s elementary schools would be divided into two clusters, with parents choosing their child’s school within that cluster.
One cluster would include Centennial, Fair Street, New Holland and Enota elementaries. The other would include Mundy Mill and Gainesville Exploration
If parents choose to send their child to a school outside of their cluster, they will be required to provide their own transportation.
About 12 percent of students will not attend their current school under the proposed changes.
To make this work, school officials are also redrawing attendance zones for each individual school to level enrollment.
Williams said this will help the school system prepare for future enrollment growth and respond to it.