Jonathan and Joshua Povich are brothers, and they were told they wouldn’t attend the same school.
Terri Povich, their mother, said her youngest son is a rising sophomore who attended Gulf Coast High School but will have to attend Aubrey Rogers High next school year. While her older son, who’s a high school senior, is getting grandfathered into Gulf Coast High School.
A spokesperson for Collier County schools told WINK News the district doesn’t split up siblings. Instead, when a new school opens up, parents have a choice of moving both students to the new school or splitting them up.
A mom that WINK News spoke with said there should be a third option of keeping her kids together at the old school.
Jonathan and Joshua do just about everything together. But in the upcoming Fall, attending school might not be one of them.
“He has always been there just like, I’ve really never been like away from him,” Jonathan said.
“They’re splitting the brothers apart,” Terri said.
That’s because Gulf Coast High is overcapacity and a new school, Aubrey Rogers, is opening.
“Gulf Coast is seven minutes, that Aubrey Rogers is 18,” Terri noted.
Joshua will be a senior next school year, so he’s grandfathered into Gulf Coast High. However, per the school board’s policy, Jonathan, who will be a sophomore next school year, has no such protection.
“It just messed up the whole situation,” Jonathan said. “I just needed like, like, just one more year of this before he goes off to college. Just want to spend it before he goes off.”
On Jan. 15, Terri signed up for an out-of-zone school choice. Terri’s boys have been on a waitlist that is 34 families strong of people who want the kids to stay at Gulf Coast High.
“It’s just the uncertainty of not knowing that he’s gonna go there is really, it’s a hardship,” Terri said.
Jonathan said he would miss his teachers, football team and that switching schools now would be like leaving his family.
“It’s like family, football, school. They’re like family,” Terri said. “You go, you know, you’re in there 80% in school. And these kids, they just, it’s just hard. It’s, it’s hard. It’s just the memories. You know, they’re gonna go to another school, just gonna lose that memory.”
Aubrey Rogers was built to lessen the population stress at four high schools, Gulf Coast, Baron Collier, Golden Gate and Palmetto. The upperclassmen who have been rezoned but decided to stay at Gulf Coast High will not receive transportation.