Hillsborough families get first look at school boundary drafts; thousands of students impacted

As part of the next steps of a Boundary Analysis process, Hillsborough County schools released three draft scenarios for public feedback on Tuesday night.

The consultant group leading the project said proposed boundary changes are based on feedback given in phase one and considers several factors like distance to school, current enrollment, preserving feeder patterns and financial savings to the district.

"Each scenario sequentially takes a more aggressive approach toward school repurposing," Kushan Dave with WXY Studio said.

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The goal is to make more efficient use of schools, as the group found many schools are overutilized or underutilized. The three scenarios have options from anywhere from 11,000 students to 24,000 students rezoned for "maximal repurposing."

"We know that reboundary of schools is not a positive thing. If you wanted to leave your school, then we’re doing a terrible job as a school district. The fact that you want to stay at your school is a positive thing, and we want to make sure that we capitalize off that too," Chris Farkas of Hillsborough County schools said.

Parents can now utilize an online web tool to input their address and see how they would be impacted. There’s also an option to leave feedback and provide comments on each scenario. No decision is final and, based on the feedback, the scenarios could be revised before a final recommendation is made to the board.

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"There’s a distinct possibility that, based on feedback, that it may be a hybrid that it may be a 1, 2 or 3 or a 2a or a 3a based on the feedback they got," Farkas said.

From January 9-13 there will be 10 in-person meetings will be held at high schools across the county, where community members will be able to view boundary maps, submit feedback through the interactive tool, and speak with members from the HCPS and consultant project team.

The board is expected to vote on the boundary changes in its February meeting. View the proposed changes here: www.hcps-boundary.org/map.