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School district reaching out to rezoning parents

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By Mike Wright

CRYSTAL RIVER — Either parents and students don’t care they may be transferring from Lecanto High to Crystal River High School next year, or they don’t know about it.

District officials are banking on the latter.

The first of two community open-house format meetings Thursday night to provide information about the rezoning attracted only a few parents, leading officials to conclude they need to get the word out more directly.

Thursday’s open house occurred just two days after school board members gave their tentative approval to the rezoning, which will move about 160 students in the Citrus Springs-Pine Ridge area from Lecanto High to Crystal River High next year.

Chuck Dixon, director of planning and growth management for the school district, recommended the rezoning because the CRHS entrance has moved to Turkey Oak Drive, making it closer to students in the affected area than LHS.

There is also a significant student population difference between the two schools. Lecanto High, the district’s largest school, has 1,745 students. Crystal River High has 1,250 students.

Incoming LHS seniors and those in the Art Academy or International Baccalaureate program would be exempt from the rezoning. It would include students who are now eighth-graders at Citrus Springs Middle School.

Most of the rezoned area is north of North Citrus Springs Boulevard and west of Elkcam Boulevard.

Dixon said he will provide letters next week regarding the rezoning to the three schools affected to send home with students. He said letters will include black-and-white copies of the maps, along with website addresses to find more information.

He said the letters are going to more than 3,000 students, even those not in the affected area. Dixon said he’s doing that to make sure no one is accidentally missed.

Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or mwright@chronicleonline.com. 

*The next community rezoning open house is from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Citrus Springs Middle School.

* To view maps and more information about the rezoning, go online to www.citrus.k12.fl.us, look under departments for “planning and growth development” and then go to that department’s website.