Clearwater Florida – Wednesday I was one of less than 50 Pinellas County REALTORS (out of 9000 members of the Pinellas Realtor Organization) who attended a special presentation by Jim Madden from the Pinellas County Schools.

Mr. Madden is responsible for Pinellas County student school assignments – he joked with us that “he’s got job security” and I can only imagine since education is always a hot topic and changes never make everyone happy.

We recently had changes to the Pinellas County School Choice plan and Clearwater home buyers as well as residents of Pinellas County with school age kids have lots of questions about these changes.

Parents are constantly asking us, Where will by child go to school?” -School Assignment Plans and Pinellas County Real Estate are very inter-connected! That’s why we made sure we were there to get the up-to-date information that is critical to the families relocating or moving that we help on a daily basis. Even people selling their home are curious since this is always important to potential home buyers. The most important thing we took away was the fact that No school is automatic for non-entry level grade students.

If you’re wondering how the Pinellas County School District, one of the largest in the nation got here it was because School Choice (our last assignment method) was court-ordered to end the 30 year desegregation ruling / plan for the Pinellas County School District. The 2007/2008 was the first year that the School District didn’t have specific min / max ratios to manage for each school.

When creating a new plan parents / community members / School Board members found people overwhelmingly wanted a Student Assignment plan that included these 3 things:

  1. Give us Predictibility
  2. Still wanted Choice(s)
  3. Diversity

A major issue is the rising cost of transportation. In the future, Pinellas County will continue to transport students to their school of “Choice” for 4 more years then parents will have to provide transportation to their “non-close-too-home” school.

Note: The new Pinellas County Student Assignement plan doesn’t change anything for Magnet and Fundemental schools

Key Components of the new Pinellas County School Plan

  • Transition from the Pinellas County Choice Plan
  • Getting Back to Close-to-home schools or zoned schools
  • Predictable feeder patterns
  • Multiple choice options
  • Reduce transportation issues and costs
  • Diversity
  • Equitable distribution of resources

What Pinellas County Home Buyers / Residents Should know during the Transition Period

  • All students except those entering Kindergarten, 6th grade and 9th grade – will stay where ever they were last year
  • Students entering Kindergarten, 6th grade and 9th grade will get their close-to-home school this year (or they can also opt for an older sibling’s school)
  • New students (not in one of the 3 grades listed above) are assigned on a space available basis to the close-to-home school or the next closest school. The challenge here is that the Florida Class Size Amendment limits the number of students that can be assigned to a school.
  • 3 schools were closed this year – South Ward, Largo Central and Riviera Middle that are impacting mid county assignments

Parents – Got More Questions?

  1. If you have any questions you can contact Jim Madden directly at 727-588-5186 or email him at maddenj@pcsb.org or
  2. Call the Student Assignment Department at 727-588-6210 or
  3. District Call Center at 727-587-2020
  4. Visit their website at www.Pinellask12.fl.us

What do you need to enroll in school? Proof of residency – a power bill, rent receipt, cable bill, phone bill, etc. – in some cases a purchase contract to buy a home or a lease agreement will also be accepted. Exceptions handled on a case by case basis. More details here: Pinellas County Real Estate matches up to Pinellas County Schools

Get 25% more Property tax savings in November

Buying Clearwater Real Estate less Complicated Now

Want more info about all our Clearwater Real Estate – feel free to call Cyndee and Jack,your Pinellas County Realtors at (727) 710-8035. Want to see all the Pinellas County homes for sale – Feel free to search the Tampa Bay MLS.

Cyndee and Jack Haydon, Clearwater Florida Real Estate Agents, Belloise Realty 59 Baymont Street Clearwater FL 33767

Call me at (727) 710-8035

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