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New Boca Raton K-8 public school plans

The state hasn’t sealed the deal yet on plans for Boca’s new K-8 public school. But the site next to Don Estridge High Tech Middle School is already tapped to temporarily house kids from the two rebuilt elementary schools.

Instead of using Verde as the holding school for the Addison Mizner rebuild, both sets of students will go to the new school until their new one is ready.

“The district doesn’t want to keep them at Verde for safety reasons,” school board member Frank Barbieri announced at Tuesday’s city council meeting. School safety became the primary issue after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shootings Feb. 14.

Addison Mizner has an 869 student capacity now; the new Mizner will have room for 1, 077. Verde can hold 1,082 now; the new one is planned for 1,353.

At the Boca City Council meeting were, from left, school board member Frank Barbieri, Boca Raton police chief Dan Alexander, schools superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy and schools police chief Frank Kitzerow.

Here’s what else happened school-wise at city council:

  • Boca Raton High School is the only local school due for boundary changes so far, but not until the Aug. 2019-2020 school year. The changes will be phased in and no present students will be affected.
  • 90 percent of students come from Boca’s old neighborhoods as residents downsize and move away.
  • But, the popularity of the gifted program at Calusa Elementary is one reason that school was so overcrowded. That school had a boundary change.
  • Palm Beach County School District in the highest rated in the state and has a 95 percent graduation rate.
  • Boca police chief Dan Alexander got a shoutout for his quick response after the Douglas murders. “I was the new superintendent and he was one of the few who asked what I needed,” said school superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy. “Because of his wisdom, I was able to make the right decisions.”
  • The district will verify every address to verify that student really belongs in that school “It won’t just be a one-time deal,” Fennoy said.
  • Boca High is getting a new coat of paint and a cleaning.
  • New schools police chief Frank Kitzerow introduced himself to the community. He was police chief in Jupiter.

By Marci Shatzman

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