Davenport school built to ease overcrowding turning children away

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A new Polk County charter school, built to resolve overcrowding problems, is turning children away.

  • Citrus Ridge more than 100 students over capacity
  • Parents of zoned students frustrated
  • School staff meeting Thursday to discuss issue

Citrus Ridge Academy in Davenport is more than 100 students over capacity.

Parent Jacqueline Sanchez has been trying to get her 10-year-old son into Citrus Ridge for three weeks.

Tuesday, she was told her son, who is zoned for Citrus Ridge, would have to go to another school.

“I’m frustrated,” Sanchez said. “Pissed off to be honest with you.”

The school district started sending out letters at the beginning of August to warn parents there could be overcrowding problems. When Bay News 9 asked why school leaders enrolled more students than the new school could hold, school leaders pointed to the growing population of the area.

“I think this was us trying to do the best that we can, with a tremendous response that we had from the community,” said Polk County School District Spokesperson Jason Geary.

School officials said the children who attended class Tuesday will be able to stay at the school. However, other students will have to find another option within the district.

“This is not something that we enjoy doing,” Geary said. “It’s a very tough thing to do when it’s the beginning of the school year and you’re trying to deal with the limited resources we have. We wish we had space to accommodate everybody, but unfortunately that’s not the case.”

The school superintendent will meet with staff Thursday to determine how to accommodate all the students who are enrolled at Citrus Ridge Academy. They’ll also discuss what will happen with the students who were unable to get into Citrus Ridge due to overcrowding.

Bay News 9 – news

August 16, 2016 |

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