Collier County Schools postpones possible school zoning changes

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The Collier County School Board voted four to one against two different proposals that could redraw school boundaries.

“The direction from the board was for district staff to come back later in the year and modify the proposals,” said Chad Oliver with CCPS.

Changes to the map could split neighborhoods and cause students to change schools, but it’s not a done deal yet. Chief communication officer Chad Oliver explained why school districts have to modify boundaries in the first place.

“Anytime you have a new school that’s being built, which, in our case, we’re preparing for two new elementary schools,” Oliver added.

He said modifying zoning will set attendance boundaries for new schools.

“One is opening in August of next year that will relieve Laurel Oak Elementary’s overcrowding. That’s opening up a little bit over a year from now. Construction starts this summer. We have another elementary school opening up brand new in the town of Ave Maria. That will be in August of 2026,” Oliver said.

He also said population growth, traffic, and housing affordability, amongst other things, also play a part.

“The boundary modification committee considers traffic flow. They consider keeping neighborhoods together. They look at capacities of school, which schools are under capacity, which schools are over capacity,” said Oliver.

Stephanie Jonas is an elementary school parent.

“My oldest would not be affected. He would actually be in middle school. My youngest would have been in fifth grade. He would have been one of a handful of kids within our community that would have been moved over to Pelican Marsh,” she added.

She’s worried about the possible changes, but is happy parents’ voices were heard.

“They’re going to postpone the rezone and relook at the maps and hopefully come up with a little bit more better of a plan,” Jonas said.

The district says the topic will be brought up again in September. They hope to have a final adjusted proposal, and parents will continue to be part of the conversation.

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