School board finalizes rezoning plans Gwen Bittner / Citrus Chronicle

Members of the Citrus County School Board voted 5-0 Tuesday to adopt new attendance zone boundaries for the 2017-18 school year.

The board opted to grandfather in fifth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students wishing to stay at their current school, with the condition that bus transportation not be provided.

Grandfathered students will be able access transportation at the closest in-zone bus stop, subject to space availability.

“We can do that individually as room permits,” Planning and Growth Management Director Chuck Dixon said.

“I’m so pleased with the Option B because I think it addresses at least my concerns and the feedback I’ve gotten from parents,” board member Thomas Kennedy said.

“I agree with Mr. Kennedy on grandfathering in both seventh- and eighth-graders,” board member Doug Dodd said.

Options A and B, outlined at the meeting, allow up to 47 students to remain at their previously zoned elementary school and up to 126 students to remain at Citrus Springs Middle School.

Board donates surplus bus

Collaboratively the Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF-8) group consisting of Florida Health Department, Nature Coast EMS, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Emergency Management, and Citrus County Fire Rescue staff appealed to the school board for the donation of a surplus school bus. The group plans to convert the bus into an ambubus to service at least 10 patients at a time in the case of a natural disaster, mass shooting, or other catastrophic incident. The board unanimously voted to grant the group’s request and commended members for their efforts.

Board accepts new textbooks

Board member Linda Powers articulated concerns of bias and shallow details in some of the world history instructional materials in social studies text books up for adoption. Instructional Technology Director Mike Geddis assured board members the materials met Florida State Standards and were representative of teachers and stakeholders. Powers suggested Geddis and social studies teacher-on-special-assignment Beth Bedee talk to teachers about textbook depth and supplementing areas that lack a full view of history. Board members voted 4-1 to approve the titles for five years.

Superintendent sworn to governor’s board

Superintendent of Schools Sandra “Sam” Himmel was sworn in to Governor Rick Scott’s Children and Youth Cabinet by school board attorney Wes Bradshaw and board member Ginger Bryant. Himmel’s term on the cabinet will last until March 2021.

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