By Jill Fox
Somerset Parkland Academy is gearing up for the 2020-2021 school year, and applications are now open for the initial limited enrollment period, which continues through March 13.
Touting themselves as “a high-quality school choice option,” the new K-8 tuition-free charter school will hold three separate enrollment periods, which starts first for students of families residing within a 2.5-mile radius of the school.
Applications can be found on their website, and student enrollments will be subject to a random lottery and racial/ethnic balance provisions. Following each enrollment period, the parent or guardian will be notified by email of their student’s eligibility status.
A letter sent to families who previously submitted interest forms stated that although Somerset Parkland Academy is a public charter school, open to all eligible students who reside in Broward County, the school may choose to limit enrollment to target students of families living within a reasonable distance of the school campus.
At full capacity, Somerset Parkland Academy will have 1,280 students, and once the first enrollment period ends, the 2.5-mile radius residence requirement will no longer be part of the enrollment criteria.
In addition to promising a STEAM-based curriculum, the two-story charter school has said security will be a top priority. The myriad of safety measures will include a six-foot-high ornamental fence surrounding the school and an eight-foot-high non-scalable interior fence. There will be a security observation tower, license plate readers, a call box, and safety barriers around the entrance to protect carpool students from lanes of traffic.
The proposal for the school began in 2014. In 2016, Academica, the parent company of Somerset, bought the 10.5-acres of land for $5 million. In November 2017, Academica brought in real estate developer Frank Biden — brother of former Vice President Joe Biden, and local attorney Michael Moskowitz to drum up support for the school in a meeting with local parents.
In September of 2018, after much controversy from the local community, the charter school was approved by the Parkland city commission.
For more information, visit somersetparklandacademy.com.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and now resides in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 10 and Randi, 7.
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