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School rezoning a temporary fix for a growing community

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Updated: 10/11/2013 3:05 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Nearly two months into this school year, and already parents and students are being forced to think about next year.

"Mark my words if you vote for this plan you put kids' lives at risk, walking from those communities to this new II school," said parent Denver Cool.

Parents with children in St. Johns County schools are bracing for big rezoning changes for the 2014-2015 school year. It's been in the works for five years and at Tuesday night's meeting, the school board finally narrowed it down to one rezoning plan per new school.

The plan for the Northwest area includes rezoning for high school students. It means kids in the Aberdeen area will move to Bartram High. As for elementary students in the Durbin Crossing North and South Communities, they'll attend one of the new schools, known as K-8 HH.

"It was a distraction for her and I'm sure it's a distraction for parents," said local parent Pam Maxwell.

This is the second time in three years Maxwell and her two kids have endured changes. She says it was tough on her daughter, but this time around, the school is brand-new and a lot closer to home.

"From an education standpoint it wouldn't be a disadvantage. It becomes logistics and what's easier on the family and getting the kids to school," said Maxwell.

For the parents and students on the Northeast side of the county, this will only be a temporary fix. The school board chose Plan A, which means some zip codes in the Nocatee neighborhoods will be rezoned to the new school, now being called K-8 II.

Other communities in Nocatee will attend Ocean Palms Elementary. However, all of this could change in a couple years.

"Nocatee is a large community and we will be building many more schools in that community. I think we have six school sights sites left," said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner.

The superintendent admits that means more rezoning in the coming years.

The plan will likely be finalized at the next meeting scheduled for November Nov. 19.
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