Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions During the Rezoning Process

October 20, 2021

Following two rounds of public listening sessions, and taking comments from those meetings, as well as through our Let’s Talk! App and email, the following are additional frequently asked questions.

Why rezone now?
  • We are pausing the rezoning of our elementary schools at this time. What the committee proposes now is a plan that would affect the middle and high schools. We will have one high school and one middle school above capacity and one high school and one middle school with available capacity next year. This first phase of rezoning will allow us to stabilize the four secondary campuses.

Why delay the elementary school rezoning?
  • We have paused the rezoning of our elementary schools for a year, but we will need to revisit them in a year. They can sustain growth for another year once the 6th grade is moved to the middle schools next year. This will also give us the opportunity to gather even more data to assist us in setting new boundaries, as well as better prepare us for the planned construction of a new middle school in three to five years.

How will School Choice and Grandfathering be handled?
  • Staff is currently working through various scenarios following a presentation to the School Board on October 19th. Student Services Director Marquez Jackson and a team are drawing up options. Please watch the video of that presentation here to get further insight into what this process may look like.

September 3, 2021

Our Rezoning Committee met following our public listening sessions. Taking comments from those meetings, as well as through our Let’sTalk! App and email, a list of the most frequently asked questions have been assembled. Not all questions submitted are answered here, but we have attempted to answer the questions which came up most often.

Why rezone the entire district now?
  • Flagler County has seen the fastest growth in nearly two decades, so there is a need to balance enrollment across all school campuses to maximize the existing capacity of all schools.
  • Flagler Schools must take action now to plan for the anticipated influx of students, in the most cost-effective way possible.
  • One of the guiding principles of the rezoning committee is to “Prioritize equitable access to safe, quality educational environments for all students.” This would enable us to create attendance zones that reflect the diversity of the district to the extent practicable. We also must target enrollments that allow for population/student growth and anticipated changing demographics. Florida Statute 1002.31 and School Board Policy 502.2 both outline that Controlled Open Enrollment must adhere to federal desegregation requirements. In addition, we must maintain socioeconomic, demographic, and racial balance in our schools to reflect that of Flagler County.

We’ve heard about “growth” for years now, but not many of these developments are going vertical. Where is the growth happening?
  • All local governments/municipalities are addressing concerns surrounding growth.
  • Flagler Schools has a list of new developments which have applied for concurrency reservations. For a detailed outline of concurrency, view the Florida Statute. Additionally, you can view a map of planned developments in Flagler County and a list of new developments by current school zones.

Can’t we just put portable buildings at the schools with the most students?
  • Portable classrooms are temporary “fixes.” This does not address the underlying issue.

I thought 6th graders were moved to elementary campuses to make more room? What happened?
  • In 2009 6th graders were moved to elementary schools to better utilize existing space in our elementary schools. Moving them back to middle school for the 2022–23 school year is the first step to manage the growth.

Why are you moving my child to a school that is at or over capacity?
  • The current plan that was shared on August 17, 2021, adjusts enrollment and makes space at all our elementary schools. While the middle and high schools may still be near or over capacity, a proposed expansion at Matanzas High School with the possible addition of another middle school is included in the district’s proposed 5-year plan to be adopted this October.

Rezoning my home will adversely affect my property value.
  • We are very cognizant that rezoning may affect some property values. However, there are many variables that impact the value of a home, such as amenities found in a particular neighborhood, the local market, and economic indicators.

What is grandfathering and what will that process look like?
  • "Grandfathering” is allowing students to remain at their current school for a certain amount of time. Typically, one or two grade levels can stay. For example, a high school junior would not be required to change schools for their senior year. This process has not yet been established.

Why don’t we just build another school(s)?
  • There are many phases in approving the construction of a new school.

    • First, the number of students expected over the next five years must be projected. These are created by the Florida Department of Education (DOE) and are known as Capital Outlay Full-Time Equivalent (COFTE). The COFTE projections are based on the number of students that are expected to need a physical seat in the District. Virtual students, home school students, and hospital/homebound students are not included. The District is required to use these projections for planning and to demonstrate the need for additional facilities.

    • If it is shown that more seats will be needed for the upcoming five years, the District must submit an Educational Plant Survey (EPS) to the DOE. This EPS must prove additional seats are needed and that existing seats are being used to the maximum extent possible. The District must also show that they expect to have revenue for the needed seats in the next five years. This EPS must first be approved by the School Board and then by the DOE.

    • If the EPS is approved, the District must again request approval for new construction in a Five Year District Facilities Work Plan. The Work Plan must again demonstrate both a need for additional student seats and a funding plan. The Work Plan must first be approved by the School Board and then submitted to DOE for review.

    • It can take between 8–12 months to approve a new school through both an EPS and a Work Plan. Once a new school is approved through both an EPS and a Work Plan, the District may then go forward with site selection, architectural design, and selection of a contractor through a bidding process. © 2022 Flagler Schools