CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds of families in Clay County will likely be sending their children to different schools next year as the district wrestles with overcrowding and lays out its redistricting plan.
Currently, the top priority is relocating students from Oakleaf High School to Ridgeview High, followed by students in Lake Asbury and Middleburg. The next schools that the district is looking at include Tynes Elementary and Lake Asbury Junior High. Those will likely be rezoned in the following school year.
A few hundred students will be moved from Oakleaf High to Ridgeview High.
Following the link above will take you to two maps. The map on the left of your screen has a section bordered in yellow that currently goes to Oakleaf High. The map on the right shows an updated and expanded boundary for Ridgeview in blue.
News4Jax spoke with a Clay County parent and a former educator. Neither were surprised on the issue of overcrowding.
“My daughter is in Florida Virtual School because of the school system,” said Rebecca Thomas, a parent. “It’s just too crowded and they’re not doing anything about it.”
“I substituted for a few years in Clay County and the schools were large class sizes,” said Lynne Barnes. “The classrooms were tight and there weren’t enough seats. All the trailers, the mobiles, the portables. It just seemed they needed to put more and more portables.”
News4jax also heard from parents in the News 4 Clay County Facebook Group.
“We really need another middle school. We are in Pine Ridge and zoned to Wilkinson (25 minutes away) when Oakleaf is only 5 minutes from our house,” wrote one commenter.
“Build more schools. The area that Shadowlawn sits on has MORE than enough space,” wrote another.
News4Jax spoke with Beth Clark, a member of the School Board.
“We’ve seen St. Johns go through it every year, but Clay hasn’t done it in some time, and the big thing is we want to be proactive with our growth and not reactive. So we’ve got to be very careful,” Clark said.
The School Board has has numerous meetings on this issue but no decision has been finalized. That will be at the full board meeting on March 4. The public is allowed to attend and speak out on this issue.