CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Many parents in Argyle are sounding off about plans to redistrict a large number of students from Oakleaf Junior and Senior High to schools in Orange Park.
Clay County District Schools officials tell News4Jax that Oakleaf schools are at capacity and this needs to happen.
But this is not a final decision. On the evening of Nov. 4, the Clay County School Board will meet to advertise this proposed school redistricting. Then the final vote is slated for Dec. 9.
Many parents in Argyle are upset and say they moved to Argyle to go to Oakleaf schools.
“How it affects me and bothers me is because my daughter has been going there and I’ve always lived there. The intention is to be going to Oakleaf. I’ve been zoned for Oakleaf for the past 10 years. And all of a sudden they’re moving us,” said parent Jessice Horne, who has attended community meetings that the district has already held in the past week. “At the board meeting on Thursday, we had one parent there that, she was crying. Her child goes to Argyle Elementary. She was crying, saying, ‘I moved to this area to go to this school, so now you’re pretty much saying either I have to sell my house in order to go to a better school.’”
But school officials like board member Mary Bolla, who represents the Oakleaf area, said Oakleaf High is at capacity and there’s room in Orange Park Junior and Senior High.
“The bottom line is we have to do what’s best for the students, and having an overcrowded high school is not that. Our schools are good. Clay County is very proud of their schools, so we’re moving from one school to another school. They offer very similar programs, high academic programs,” said Bolla.
Bolla points out that the state of Florida will not provide funding to build more schools in the area until the district can show all their schools are at capacity — which Orange Park is not.
Here’s who would be affected:
- Seventh graders would have to switch junior high schools next year, while eighth graders could remain.
- Incoming ninth, 10th and 11th graders would be moved to Orange Park, while incoming seniors could remain at Oakleaf.
Here’s a link to the district’s plan if you want to read further: https://www.oneclay.net/Page/5694.