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Florida school enrollment confusion pushes children to ‘overflow schools'

Davenport mother says twins enrolled at school 30 minutes away

DAVENPORT, Fla. – Kelly Corrano and her husband uprooted their life in Connecticut earlier this year and moved the family of five to Davenport, Florida, for a better opportunity for her children. 

Corrano said she specifically bought her home in Davenport for the school. It is zoned for Citrus Ridge Academy. 

"Before purchasing this home, we had visited Citrus Ridge to make sure that we were correct," Corrano said. "That we were zoned for that school,​ because I wanted to make sure that my kids were going to be placed (where) I was comfortable with."

Her husband filled out all the necessary paperwork mid-July and was told by the school system that overcrowding can sometimes be an issue. If it was, he was told he would get a call.

Corrano said no one ever called, so she went on with visiting the school on orientation day last Tuesday. 

When she arrived, she said there was already confusion about buses. That was the first red flag.

But the real problem came when she says she found out only her son, who is starting kindergarten, was registered at Citrus Ridge Academy. 

Her twins, who will start the fourth grade were registered at Loughman Oaks Elementary, about 30 minutes away from the Corranos' home. 

Starting this fall, Florida parents wanting to move their children to another school district can do so under new legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

“Parents of public school students may seek any public educational school choice options that are applicable and available to students throughout the state,” the bill stated.

Corrano said she spent days emailing, calling and going to both schools to try to find out where her kids were registered and where to drop them off at.

Corrano said she felt like she was being given the runaround. 

"This person says you can't talk to this person. This person says, 'Oh we don't handle that. Oh, the only person who handles placement would be this person,'" Corrano said.

News 6 contacted the school board Monday morning to get answers. 

A media representative sent News 6 this statement:

"Citrus Ridge is located in a booming section of Polk County. New families are moving in constantly, which makes determining the school’s enrollment extremely difficult. At the start of this school year, approximately 50 children were sent to Loughman Oaks, the nearest 'overflow school,' even though they are zoned for Citrus Ridge. Some of these children had only just moved to the area within the last couple of weeks.

"The district will ensure that we accommodate every child zoned for Citrus Ridge. We are in the process of contacting the affected families to let them know they may bring their children back to Citrus Ridge. All families will be contacted with a personal phone call within the first week of school (school began Thursday, Aug. 10)."

During News 6's interview with Corrano, the assistant superintendent called. 

This was the first time Corrano got a call back. 

The assistant superintendent apologized for the confusion and assured Corrano her children would attend Citrus Ridge Academy without any problems Tuesday morning. 

Corrano picked up her children's bus passes Tuesday afternoon and was told her children's teachers will meet with them before they leave class tomorrow so they feel comfortable in their new school. 

Corrano said it is very close to a happy ending.