By Bryan Boggiano
The School Board of Broward County is considering an updated recommendation to keep MSD’s boundaries unchanged and hold off on the MSD rezoning process until the 2024-2025 school year.
The recommendation came from Interim Superintendent Dr. Earline Smiley, who submitted the update Wednesday.
According to Chair Lori Alhadeff, the meeting’s updated trajectory came in response to an email from an unspecified party, which questioned whether the board followed Policy 5000 when considering updating school boundaries.
That policy guides how the district approaches and administers setting and rezoning school boundaries.
Upon further review from legal counsel Marilyn Batista on Wednesday, the board determined they did not follow certain aspects of Policy 5000.
Alhadeff stated the district did not form a community school boundary committee, and there was no school boundary process resolution that the board adopted.
She met with district staff Wednesday to understand what they should do next.
“As school board members, we do not want to be in violation of our own policies,” Alhadeff said.
Alhadeff continued, stating she wanted to ensure rezoning was a fair process and in compliance with district policy.
Batista stated it would be a mistake to proceed with the MSD rezoning process, especially since the rezoning process came short of following policy.
The MSD rezoning process started to alleviate overcrowding at the school. But, residents and elected officials, including members of the Coral Springs City Commission, acknowledged the entire process created a rift between the two cities.
Vice Chair Debra Hixon met with the Coral Springs city commission on March 3 to discuss pushing the proposed MSD rezoning back one year. They recently met with Mayor Rich Walker to discuss the MSD rezoning.
Despite the updated changes, school board members expressed the importance of alleviating overcrowding.
Jeff Holness recommended adding another lunch period, while Smiley suggested funding an additional school resource officer for the 2023-2024 school year.
“We have a dramatically overenrolled school…and we’ve got to do everything we can for the safety and security of the students that are there,” said District 5 Member Dr. Allen Zeman.
Smiley stated the school district will revisit the boundary process in 2024, saying they will “Policy 5000 to fidelity.”
“The district will continue to address overcrowding challenges at Stoneman Douglas and review potential solutions that comply with school board policy for the 2024-2025 school year,” Alhadeff said.
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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