Seminole County students head back to school

Rezoning forces 3,000 kids to go to different schools

Published On: Aug 12 2013 08:18:34 AM EDT   Updated On: Aug 12 2013 08:20:16 AM EDT
Students in class with empty desk
SANFORD, Fla. -

Students headed back to school Monday in Seminole County, with thousands headed to a new school building.

Nearly 3,000 elementary students were assigned to different schools this year because of massive changes in attendance zones that were approved earlier this year by the school board.

School leaders promised the rezoning would reduce crowding on some campuses while filling vacant seats in others.

Other changes in Seminole County include beefed-up security in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Connecticut in December. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office will provide 10 additional deputies to be shared among 22 elementary schools.

The district has also expanded its pre-K program, hoping it steers more parents away from charter or private schools for students at age 4.

Also, roof repairs are expected to happen this year along with air-conditioning system replacements at several schools. Those changes will be financed through the extra 1-mill property tax, which is expected to raise about $26 million this year. That money would also go toward upgrading language and science laboratories.

About 64,000 students are enrolled in Seminole County this school year, up from several previous years of declining enrollment.