Possible shift for Collier County public school boundaries

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Collier County Public Schools flyer. CREDIT: WINK News

A new high school in Collier County means some students could be relocated next school year.

In the meantime, the district is looking at changing the boundary zones, which could also alleviate overcrowding.

Parents have many concerns, some of which are traffic and transportation.

Aubrey Rogers High School in Collier County. CREDIT: WINK News

Collier County public schools will open Aubrey Rogers High School in August.

“It will be the first new high school to open in Collier County in 19 years, so think about that: Since 2004 was the last time we opened up a new high school,” said CCPS spokesman Chad Oliver said.

While Collier County Public Schools are excited, not everyone is on board. Lines are getting drawn, and those lines will define where kids go to school.

“They built a high school that has 1,800 students in an area that they didn’t need, an 1,800 student [school], the only way to justify it is to now literally pull everybody from Gulf Coast and some from Barron,” said Mary Motz and Cherie Came, Gulf Coast High School parents.

CCPS said the new high school is needed and has been in the works since 2019.

“Specifically to the new high school, it will alleviate overcrowding that we currently have at Gulf Coast High School and Palmetto Ridge High School that’s why you’re seeing the boundary modification happening now,” Oliver said.

Parents have said this is going to affect a lot of people in quite a few ways.

“It’s creating a problem for everyone because of all of this traffic. You might think, Oh, I don’t care; I don’t have a kid in school. Do you ride on these roads? Because you’re gonna be stuck behind all those buses and all those cars,” Motz and Came said.

Michael DeLuke has a daughter at Gulf Coast high; she, like any other sophomore or junior, will have the option of staying at their current school.

But, CCPS doesn’t know how many students will opt to do so.

“I thought maybe they just didn’t publish the data when I realized that they didn’t have the data. From what they told me tonight, I was shocked,” DeLuke said.

Another problem for DeLuke is the boundary modification decision will be made before the opt period opens.

“They literally don’t know how many kids will stay for the junior-senior year and how many kids will be coming in for the junior-senior year I don’t know how they plan academic programs, athletic programs, anything, and their answer was we’ll know once everybody opts in or out,” DeLuke said.

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