Broward County Public Schools

Demographics & Student Assignments
Phone 754.321.2480 * Fax 754.321.2489

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

(See also: Glossary)

 
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A) General

1. Where can I find a Demographics & Student Assignments presentation?

All School Boundary Process information presented is available from the Demographics & Student Assignments website.  The direct Web link and telephone number are provided below:

Demographics & Student Assignments Department (754) 321-2480

http://browardschools.com/dsa

2. What are demographics?

Demographics are the characteristics of a population. For school planning, demographics refer to the number of students in different geographic areas of the county. This includes the number of current and projected students. Diversity characteristics: gender, race, ethnicity, English Language Learners (ELL), Exceptional Student Education (ESE), Free or Reduced Lunch (FRL) are also part of student demographics.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

3. Define school feeder patterns and what makes a school feeder pattern clean.

A clean school feeder pattern is when all the students in one elementary school matriculate to the same middle school and/or all students in one middle school matriculate to the same high school. Feeder patterns provide detailed information on student advancement from one level to another within a particular boundary based on residing address. While consideration is made towards achieving 100 percent clean feeder patterns, some schools will have split feeder patterns.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

4. What is a TAZ?

A traffic analysis zone is the unit of geography most commonly used in conventional transportation planning models. Traffic Analysis Zones are simply a way of identifying different geographic areas or neighborhoods throughout Broward County and is created by the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Each TAZ has a set of streets or canals that defines the perimeter of the TAZ or neighborhood.

A unique number identifies each TAZ or neighborhood. Student data is provided for each TAZ. TAZ information by School attendance area is available on the Demographics & Student Assignments website.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

5. What do the numbers on the Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ) maps indicate?

The numbers within each Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ) on the TAZ maps are identification numbers. This number does not reflect the number of students living within the TAZ.

6. What are innovation zones?

Innovation zones consist of a cluster of schools that includes a high school, middle school(s), elementary schools and centers. The Zones break down "barriers" and divide the District into 28 representative, responsive and manageable geographic areas while maintaining the importance and influence a big district demands.

In molding the Innovation Zone concept, the main priority was that all facets of the educational environment be addressed. Schools were organized in a feeder pattern or community-centered concept to promote a smooth, constant base of support.

By being part of an Innovation Zone, individual schools benefit through coordination, collaboration and shared decision making with other area schools. Schools are now part of a team effort and share resources to maximize opportunities and improve the education of students. (See SB Policy 1402.)

Innovation zones benefit students, parents, and the community in a number of ways. Innovation zones create a bottom-up decision making process as well as provide more ways for parents to become involved. In addition, the zones have streamlined operations and created attentive administrations and localized chains of command. To meet the needs of all our students innovation zones decentralize the school system rather than breaking it into smaller districts.

7. How is the Broward County School District funded?

Please refer to the District Capital Outlay Plan at:
http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/comptroller/cfo/capbudget/index.html
This book will provide a detailed narrative of the District's financial information.

8. Do I pay higher or lower taxes toward schools than my neighbor in another city?

Millage determines the amount of tax paid for schools. The differences in taxes for each property are based on the value of the property; a higher valued property pays more taxes, whereas, a lower valued property pays less taxes. The school portion of the tax owed does not relate to the municipality in which the taxpayer resides and supports the countywide school district.
For additional information contact Omar Shim, Capital Budget, (754) 321-8200.

9. I pay high taxes to live in my city. Why do I have to go to school in another city?

Taxes collected to support schools are not specific to the municipality in which the taxpayer resides, but rather are distributed districtwide to support all Broward County Public schools.
For additional information contact Omar Shim, Capital Budget, (754) 321-8200.

10. The term domino has been used with boundary changes. What does that mean in reference to school boundaries?

A domino boundary change involves multiple school boundaries where a portion of a school boundary is moved into another school boundary to utilize available capacity at non-adjacent schools. For example, overcrowded School A is boundared into School B, and School B is boundared into under-enrolled School C to evenly distribute school enrollment between the three schools.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

11. What are the differences between charter and public schools? Aren’t they all public?

Charter schools are public schools holding state or local agency contracts to meet specified student achievement goals. In return, the charter school is allocated public educational funds for a stated period of time. The charter schools operate under an individual governing board.

For additional information, contact Charter School office at 754-321-2135.

B) Boundary Process

1. Who are some of the people involved in determining which schools may need to be involved in the boundary process and, what factors are taken into consideration?

Participation of stakeholders at the earliest point in the boundary process is critical. District staff examines current enrollment, projected enrollment, programmed facility improvements, special programs such as Exceptional Student Education clusters, Headstart programs, and Magnet Programs, class size reduction, student reassignment information, and feeder school patterns. This information is also used to determine which schools are moving toward critical student over-enrollment and will need interventions. District staff will present data, discuss school concurrency Level of Service, and class size, and inform the community that a boundary change may be needed. Schools projected to not meet Level of Service or anticipated to not meet class size targets are recommended by the Superintendent to be included in the boundary process.
For additional information on the boundary process contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.
For additional information on school concurrency Level of Service contact Growth Management, (754) 321-2160.

2. Why are some schools exempt from the boundary process such as Nova schools and Pompano High?

Neither Pompano High nor the Nova schools have boundaries. These schools are countywide or have a specified attendance area that cross traditional school attendance areas. Students apply to enroll in these schools (Policy 5004.1).
For additional information contact Innovative Programs, (754) 321-2380.

3. Are charter and private schools included in Broward's boundary process?

Charter and private schools have no attendance areas and are not bound to the same local, state, and federal rules as traditional public schools. Staff reviews both private and charter schools enrollment which influence enrollment projections for schools with attendance areas.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

4. What considerations are taken into account when establishing school attendance areas?

5. Are FCAT school grades taken into consideration when proposing boundary changes?

FCAT school grades may change from year to year depending on the number of students taking the test and how groups of students perform on the reading, writing and mathematics portions of the test. Therefore, school grade is not one of the primary considerations taken into account in determining school attendance areas.

6. Is School "X" anticipated to undergo a boundary change in the future?

All schools must meet the interlocal agreement school concurrency level of service where enrollment can't exceed 100% of a school's gross capacity (which includes relocatables) and class size mandates at each school site and are evaluated on an annual basis. District data reviewing school enrollment and school capacity is updated in October and April in the online Planning Tool for School Enrollment and Capacity.

7. If a middle school boundary is changed, will elementary school students in the feeder pattern attend their original high school after middle school, or is that changed as well?

Students are assigned to attend schools based on the student's primary residential address and the approved school attendance boundary for that year.  Students will continue to be assigned to the same high school unless that boundary is changed as well.

8. In a boundary change proposal, do all students have to move together or can multiple areas be sent to different schools?

Multiple areas can be suggested to move into different adjacent schools in order to utilize available school capacity.  Should adjacent school capacity not be available, a domino boundary change may have to be considered.

9. Has the School District looked at retaining incoming 6th graders at feeding elementary schools in order to prevent overcrowding at middle schools, or retaining incoming 9th graders at feeding middle schools in order to prevent overcrowding at high schools?

Through School Board Policy 5000 a review of alternative and temporary options are considered to ease overcrowding.  As a result of the review process, the School Board will maximize the use of existing space throughout the District, not to exceed capacity required to meet educational requirement.  As a temporary solution, the implementation of alternative enrollment options as identified by the Superintendent will be the sole discretion of the School Board to ease overcrowding until permanent capacity becomes available through the building of additional facilities on site, a boundary change, or new schools. Options to be considered, but are not limited to, or required include:

  1. Enrollment capping (i.e. school will not accommodate any more students and new students are assigned to designated schools that are less crowded)
  2. Flexible school day/week/month/year
  3. Dual enrollment programs with institutions of higher learning
  4. Other school day/week/month/year models that may be identified through this process
  5. School-Within-A-School (F.S. 1003.02 (4)) such as co-teaching, floating teachers, and re-organization of groups of students.
  6. Choice seats
  7. Reconfigured grades/educational programs and sites dependent on available capital funds to be provided by the School District and/or other individuals/groups/entities.

10. How do the new legislative changes impact school boundaries systems and processes?

The 2011 Florida legislative session closed with several new laws impacting public school education.  The change to state school concurrency law has no impact on the school level of service agreed on through the interlocal tri-party agreement between municipalities, Broward County Government and the School Board that have agreed to not allow enrollment to exceed each school's gross capacity (permanent buildings plus portable buildings) until 2019-20 when the District can no longer use relocatables. 

Planning for the changes to the definition of core classes for meeting class size requirements has already begun. The legislature also passed several new choice options for students, many of which have already been in place in Broward Schools.

11. Will the community be notified about new charter schools opening in the areas affected by boundary change proposals?

Charter schools are not required to provide a school location address until the charter school opens. Therefore, the District does not know where new charter schools will be located or how much enrollment will be pulled from existing traditional schools until new charter schools open. New charter school enrollment is presented annually in the Benchmark Day Enrollment Report and provided in the October update of the online Planning Tool for School Enrollment and Capacity.

12. Who makes the final boundary recommendations that are taken to the School Board for vote?

The final boundary recommendations are those presented to the School Board by the Superintendent of Schools. The recommendations are the result of the considerations used to review school boundaries, School Boundary Committee, community input, and School Board input.

13. Does the community vote on the proposed boundaries that are provided to the School Board?

The School Boundary Committee formed of 28 community members will share their recommendations for school boundary changes with the Superintendent and School Board at a workshop in January. The School Board votes on the recommendations as presented by the Superintendent of Schools at the Public Hearings scheduled in February and March.

14. How are parents and the community involved throughout the school boundary process?

Parents and the community are involved early in the boundary process through Innovation Zone (IZone) meetings held throughout the District during the months of October and November. IZone meetings, School Boundary Committee Public Hearings and, Public Hearings are outlined in the Boundary Process Timeline.

15. Are boundary proposals arranged in any order of preference? Is the board going to pick one of the existing proposals or could it be something else?

The boundary proposals on the Demographics & Student Assignments Department website are posted in the order that they are received. Community members have all year to work with the Demographics & Student Assignments staff to propose recommendations by the proposal deadline. All boundary proposals and comments posted to the website will be shared with the School Board at School Boundaries Workshops. In January, the Superintendent will make recommendations for schools in the school boundary changes. The process concludes in the spring when the School Board votes on all school boundaries for the following school year.

16. Why do most of the boundary proposals involve schools in the western part of the county?

Many schools in the southwestern protion of Broward County exceed school facility capacity and may not meet Level of Service (LOS). Boundary changes may be required to relieve overcrowding at these schools.

17. When does the public have input on school boundary proposals?

There are several opportunities for public input during the School Board School Boundary Process Timeline. Demographics & Student Assignments staff receives community input throughout the year and shares all input received from the department website and at the School Board School Boundaries Workshops. Community members may also provide input during School Board Workshops and at Regular School Board meetings.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

18. Can you submit a comment without a computer?

In addition to the Demographics & Student Assignments website community input can be submitted by telephone. The Demographics & Student Assignments Department can be reached at (754) 321-2480.

19. What are some actual differences between this year’s process and last year’s school boundary process?

There are three main differences in this year's boundary process.

  1. The intended purpose of the process is to gain greater community involvement and two-way dialog to allow community members to be heard.
  2. Map proposers present their proposal(s) to impacted community members at Principal Facilitator Izone meetings held between October and November.
  3. A 28 community member School Boundary Committee (selected by the IZone Principal Facilitators) act as the eyes and ears of the IZone community.  This committee will review all proposals at a hearing on December 11, 2014 and provide their committee recommendations to the Superintendent and School Board at the January 13, 2015 School Board Workshop.

20. How were the community representatives chosen?

Each principal within an innovation zone provides names of community members who volunteer to represent the entire innovation zone by acting as the eyes and ears of the zone to the Innovation Zone Principal Facilitator. The Innovation Zone Principal Facilitator will select and notify a School Boundary Committee representative and an alternate from the list of volunteers and provide the names to Demographics & Student Assignments Department by the September deadline. The representative and alternate will be part of the 28 member School Boundary Committee for the school boundary review process.

21. Can everyone visiting the site do the "homework"?

All map proposals are reviewed by school district demographers using considerations found in School Board Policy 5000. The 28 member School Boundary Committee will provide their recommendations to the School Board based on these considerations. The "homework" is a way of providing the committee a worksheet to collect their thoughts in order to be able to discuss their recommendations with other committee member representatives at the scheduled meeting dates.

22. Is there a page with all deadlines/timelines laid out on one page?

The annual community school boundary process timeline has all dates and deadlines.

23. Can a community member withdraw their map from the website?

Yes, a community member can withdraw their maps from consideration. This process is accomplished by the map developer calling DSA and confirming the need to withdraw/take down their proposal. Staff will then strike through the map submission online and note the date of call/request. The map will stay on the website with notation that the idea/map and consideration has been withdrawn by the map proposer.

24. Can Abby Freedman, a Broward County School Board Member vote on her own map proposal?

This question has been referred to legal counsel. Language from legal is:

Concerns and questions regarding the obligation cited in the statute below will be shared with legal and Mrs. Freedman.

286.012 Voting requirement at meetings of governmental bodies.—No member of any state, county, or municipal governmental board, commission, or agency who is present at any meeting of any such body at which an official decision, ruling, or other official act is to be taken or adopted may abstain from voting in regard to any such decision, ruling, or act; and a vote shall be recorded or counted for each such member present, except when, with respect to any such member, there is, or appears to be, a possible conflict of interest under the provisions of s. 112.311, s. 112.313, or s. 112.3143. In such cases, said member shall comply with the disclosure requirements of s. 112.3143. History.—s. 1, ch. 72-311; s. 9, ch. 75-208; s. 2, ch. 84-357; s. 13, ch. 94-277; s. 19, ch. 2013-36.

C) School Assignment

1. Where will my student attend school if I buy this house?

Attendance area assignments are subject to change as needed to comply with state mandated class size and local school concurrency requirements. Broward County Public School District provides equitable education opportunities for all students. School boundary maps are posted online as a convenience to Broward County students and parents. An overall boundary map and several detail maps are available in Adobe Acrobat format.  These maps may provide the information you are looking for or may help you to refine any questions you may have.

Boundary maps are intended to give general boundary information for Broward County Public Schools. Users should contact the Demographics & Student Assignments Department at (754) 321-2480, for the most current school assigned to a specific address. This is especially true for any new development or current neighborhood near the boundary of a school attendance area.

Pursuant to School Board Policy 5000, annual school boundary meetings are held throughout the school District when new schools are opening and/or student population growth necessitates school boundary changes. Pursuant to Florida statutes, school attendance areas are recommended by the Superintendent and approved by the School Board on an annual basis as conditions warrant. Please check the Community Boundary Process Timeline for any upcoming school boundary presentations, meetings, or discussions.

2. I bought my house to go to a specific school. Why would you take people out of the school that they based their house purchase on?

Public school assignment is based on the availability of space at schools. When available seats are consumed, public school education must still be provided within the District school system. Attendance areas are not prearranged with developers, realtors, or cities and are not part of any binding mortgage agreements.

3. I want my seven-year-old to attend a particular high school. Will this house be in that high school attendance area two years from now?

In rapidly growing or declining districts, no one can answer this question. We know that we will have to adjust school boundaries as we build new schools and as existing schools become overcrowded or under-enrolled.  The District reviews enrollment and school capacity annually. Please contact the Demographics & Student Assignments Department or see the Community Boundary Process Timeline for more details concerning the next school year.

4. Does the School District work to return students to their home school if they are found to be using an incorrect address?

The School Board takes this issue very seriously. School registrars require documentation proving a student's address in order to register a student. If it is suspected that a false address has been given, the District has a Special Investigative Unit (SIU) that is dispatched to verify residence at the address in question. The Demographics & Student Assignments Department verifies that registered addresses and assignment codes for every student are within the boundaries of the schools they are attending. This is done at least four times a year. Lists of out-of-boundary student addresses are sent to the area offices and individual schools. Students are directed to register at their assigned schools or apply for proper assignment through the Demographics & Student Assignments Department, (754) 321-2480.

5. Why does my child have to be driven past school X in order to attend school Y?

School assignment is based on each student's primary residential address.  Sometimes students living near or at the periphery of a school's attendance area may be closer to school Y but are still assigned to school X based on available school capacity.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

6. Some schools have a city or municipality's name, do these schools only enroll students from those cities? Are these city schools?

No. Broward's public schools are part of the county-at-large.

7. Our neighborhood feels the schools assigned to our area are not appropriate. Why can't we send our children to other schools?

Students may apply for a reassignment to a school with seats open for reassignment according to School Board Policy 5004.1
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

8. Why do you move children from schools outside a city into another city?

Broward County Public Schools are part of the county at-large and provide education to children districtwide.  As a result, school attendance areas do not follow city limits.

9. Do promises made from a builder or realtor to a buyer regarding a school's attendance area (boundary) in any way bind the School Board to honor those promises?

No. Attendance areas are not prearranged with developers, realtors, or cities and are not part of any binding mortgage agreements.

10. School boundaries affect our home sales and property values. How can we change the schools our neighborhood are assigned to?

School attendance areas are reviewed annually based on several local, state, and federal criteria the District is mandated to meet.  Based on these mandates the School Board votes to adopt the annual school attendance areas.  Community input is collected and shared with the School Board during the annual boundary process prior to the adoption of all school boundaries.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

11. We will be residents of a new development that a large number of students will be moving into.  We bought our home knowing that we were boundared for certain schools.  Will our boundared schools change because of the large number of people moving here?

Generally, when new residential developments are built, students are assigned to the school boundary serving the location of the development if the school has capacity. If the school does not have the capacity to accommodate additional enrollment students may be assigned to another school that has capacity.

12. We live in a city where we are catered to. Why aren't our children allowed to attend schools where they participate in activities?

School attendance areas do not follow municipal limits and are part of a districtwide school system.  Children are allowed to apply for a reassignment to schools offering reassignment seats.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

13. If a boundary change is made when my child is entering the last grade at that school, can my child remain at the school one more year?

Students meeting the highest-grade criteria and entering Grade 12 will receive an automatic approval with transportation (Policy 5004.1) to remain at the school to complete the high school level. Students entering Grade 5 and Grade 8 may be reassigned as space permits without transportation (Policy 5004.1). If the requested school has more applications for reassignment than seats available, then a random selection process will be employed.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

D) School Choice and Reassignment

1. What does school choice mean?

The School Board of Broward County Public Schools is committed to providing quality educational opportunities for all students regardless of background characteristics by providing each student an educational environment that enhances that individual's educational success. The School Board is also committed to encouraging all parents to play an active role in their children's education and to increasing the educational options available to parents and students in the public schools. Finally, the School Board is committed to providing settings for education that promote understanding of diversity, tolerance and fair play, so that the positive tenets of a democratic society are reinforced by what students experience in schools. In Broward County Public Schools, diversity is a broad concept that includes gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, linguistic differences, exceptional abilities, variations of talents and abilities, and special needs.

The School Board supports Innovative Programs/Parent Options as one tool for achieving these goals. School choice options include federally mandated Opportunity Scholarship Program, magnet programs, school boundary choice areas, and reassignments.

For additional information please see School Board Policy 5004.1.
To apply for a school choice option, contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

2. Can my child attend a Broward school other than his/her boundared school?

Parents may apply for a reassignment for their child to attend another school where space exists. Students may also be reassigned due to hardship.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

3. Why do some students receive letters allowing them the option to select another school besides their assigned school?

Schools that receive a state grade of "F" or three consecutive grades of "D" come under what the Federal Government calls school improvement status. All students who are enrolled in these schools are eligible for school choice through the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP). This includes incoming sixth grade to middle school or kindergarten students who are registered to attend that elementary school. Under OSP, parents must be offered a choice of at least two schools other than the child's home school. These can include schools with a grade of C or better.
For additional information on FCAT contact Student Assessment & School Performance, (754) 321-4250.

4. Why doesn’t the District stop allowing District employee reassignments into overcrowded schools?

Full-time, permanent employees of the School Board of Broward County, who have school-age children, including those of which they have legal guardianship, are eligible to attend the same school at the employee’s work location. If applying for a reassignment the employee may request another school within a five mile radius of the work location as provided in the Broward Teacher's Union Contract, Article 15. In a specialized program such as Magnet, the student must meet the academic criteria at the secondary level.

5. What is being done about students who are enrolled in our school and live in other counties or boundaries?

Many students attending schools from outside their attendance area within Broward County, as well as from other counties, have received reassignments to attend Broward County Public Schools.

School Board Policy 5.1 and Florida Statute 837.06 state: "Whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his or her official duty shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by law." Additionally, a person who knowingly makes a false declaration under penalties of perjury is guilty of the crime of perjury by false written declaration, a felony of the third degree under Florida Statute 92.525 and will be reported to the State’s Attorney’s office.

6. When were School Board Policies 5001 and 5004 combined into Policy 5004.1?

School Board Policies 5001, 5003, and 5004 were amended on 12/15/09 and combined into the current School Board Policy 5004.1.

7. Having children at the same level assigned to two different schools due to a boundary change creates serious problems for families. How can the children be kept together at the same school?

The family can request a reassignment to the school where seats are available.

For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

E) Enrollment and Capacity

1. What are enrollment projections and what is the methodology used to develop them? Is there a formula the District uses?

Every fall, the District's demographers prepare five-year enrollment projections for Broward County Public Schools. The projections show the future enrollment trend at each school by giving the estimated number of students expected to be attending each school, for each year, over the next five years.

To project future students by grade for each school, a statistical Cohort Projection model uses an aging concept moving groups of students into the future and increases or decreases their numbers based upon past trends. Once initial projections are prepared, many checks are performed to determine if projections are reasonable. When preparing enrollment projections, the District demographers obtain current certificate of occupancy information for all new and ongoing development from each municipal planning office. The District relies extensively on the cooperation and coordination with the municipalities.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

2. Who prepares the official student enrollment and diversity projections?

Student enrollment projections provided by the District's demographers are the official demographic projections used in planning school attendance areas. Student demographic diversity is reported based on actual benchmark day enrollment and is not projected. For additional information see the enrollment projections webpage.

3. How often are enrollment projections reviewed and how accurate are they?

Broward County Public School's (BCPS) primary projection tool is a geographically-based Cohort Survival model, which projects future students by grade. The Cohort Survival model is considered very reliable and is utilized by the Florida Department of Education in their student projections and the U.S. Census Bureau for their reports. The model uses an "aging" concept that moves a group, or cohort, of students into the future and increases or decreases their numbers according to past experience through history. The District’s student enrollment projections allow the District to plan to meet the needs of all students using the best information available at the time the projections are released with a high rate of accuracy. Enrollment projections are produced every fall after the twentieth day of school for the following five years. Enrollment projections are then updated in April to reflect any boundary changes adopted by the School Board. This allows the District to plan for educational needs and facility use based on current conditions in the county.

4. Why does the District need to report enrollment on the benchmark days of the school year?

Reporting enrollment allows for continuous planning improvements to align services.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

5. Why does the District use the Monday following the Labor Day holiday as the benchmark for enrollment and projections instead of the October 15th FTE?

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) is simply a school budget projection for the upcoming year. There are several reasons why the twentieth day count is used as the basis for enrollment planning in the District instead of the October 15th FTE.  For instance, one FTE does not generally equal one student but is based on a numeric equation used to predict the total FTE in the second semester in February.  For example: a student in October may equal one half of an FTE, ESE students are considered weighted FTE's and may count as more than one FTE, and fee-based students, Headstart and paid VPK prekindergarten students are not counted in FTE calculations.  In addition, the factor used to calculate an FTE varies by school and by level.  For example, the District average for high schools counts one student as 0.96 FTE.  To plan school attendance areas for the upcoming year, a process which requires an inclusive community vetting process, enrollment projections must be completed immediately following the twentieth day of enrollment and schools potentially not meeting class size and/or school concurrency mandates should be identified before the school year begins. The October 15th FTE, a calculation produced by FLDOE, is not provided to the District until the latter part of November which would set the boundary process back months jeopardizing the ability for schools to plan for potential boundary changes in the coming year. The District depends on long-range planning for enrollment in school facilities that requires five year projected enrollment.  Because of the way FTE is calculated, it would not be accurate or timely to use it to predict student enrollment beyond the next year.
For additional information on school budgets contact the Budget Office, (754) 321-8330.
For additional information on enrollment projections contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

6. What are the definitions of under-enrolled and/or overcrowded schools?

School Board Policy 5000 (page 4) defines standards for overcrowded schools:

  1. After the benchmark day count of each school year, the Demographics & Student Assignments Department will evaluate the impact of actual student enrollment and determine under-enrolled and overcrowded schools.
  2. Schools shall be considered under-enrolled when enrollment is below 90% of permanent FISH capacity and are
    projected to remain under 90% of permanent FISH capacity for the following school year.
  3. Schools shall be considered neutral when enrollment is greater than or equal to 90% of permanent FISH capacity and
    less than or equal to 100% of gross FISH capacity and are projected to remain as such for the following school year.
  4. Schools shall be considered overcrowded when enrollment is greater than 100% gross FISH capacity and are
    projected to have an enrollment greater than 100% gross FISH capacity for the following school year.
  5. All schools shall strive to achieve student enrollments aligning with 100% of permanent FISH capacity enabling
    non-traditional classrooms to be utilized for the intended purpose.
  6. Available capacity at under-enrolled schools may be considered as an option to relieve overcrowded schools during
    the boundary process.
  7. Schools with an enrollment of less than 100% gross FISH capacity may be deemed overcrowded, based upon the
    criteria of class size reduction requirements, special programs or special circumstances.

7. Why is my school considered for boundary changes when we have enough capacity to support our enrollment?

The State Plant Survey has restricted the District from building any additional student capacity however there are a few schools that have more students than available school capacity. As a result existing districtwide school capacity must be filled which may cause school boundary shifts.

8. Is enrollment capping an option to relieve overcrowding at schools?

School Board policy 5000 states that alternative enrollment options such as enrollment capping can be used temporarily to ease overcrowding until permanent capacity becomes available through the building of additional facilities on site, boundary changes, or new schools. Currently, the state will not allow the building of any new educational facilities in Broward County.

9. What is FISH?

The Florida Inventory of School Houses or FISH is a term used to identify the capacity of a school, which is the number of students a school is designed to accommodate. For example, if an elementary school has a FISH of 1,092, it is designed to accommodate 1,092 students.  The Florida Department of Education makes adjustments to FISH.  As a result of these adjustments, the September 2004 FISH reflects the constitutional amendment to include class size reduction limits (PreK through 3rd grade, 18 students; 4th through 8th grade, 22 students; and 9th through12th, 25 students).
For additional information on capacity contact Growth Management, (754) 321-2160 or, (754) 321-1932.

10. How is it possible for a school’s enrollment to be greater than its gross capacity?

Schools can accommodate student enrollment above their total gross FISH capacity through the use of spaces which are not included in FISH capacity such as media centers, athletic facilities, and resource rooms. The use of these non-traditional educational spaces along with strategic scheduling thereby reduces the number of students utilizing the actual listed capacity of a school at any given time.

11. Where can we look at all school’s enrollment and capacity?

Broward County Schools Planning Tool for School Enrollment and Capacity can be accessed at:

http://webapp.browardschools.com/schoolenrollment/splash1.aspx .

F) Transportation and Safety

1. I see students getting off the school bus at my bus stop that do not live in my neighborhood. Why are they on the same bus as my children?

School bus routes, schedules, and bus stops are outlined by School Board Policy 5300.
For additional information contact Transportation Services, (754) 321-4440.

2. What is the School Board Policy on bus transportation and how is it applied to student reassignments?

School Board Policy 5300 defines the rule for bus transportation. 
For additional information contact Transportation Services, (754) 321-4440.

School Board Policy 5004.1 defines how bus transportation is applied to student choice.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

3. Why does the District provide transportation for students that attend schools other than their home schools?

Transportation is provided to students that choose to attend other schools for a few reasons. Districts must provide transportation required for a student to exercise public school choice under school improvement, corrective action, restructuring, or inter-district choice offered as part of corrective action for a school. Magnet schools/programs provide an opportunity for under-enrolled schools to stabilize/increase student enrollment and provide transportation within transportation zones for those students living more than two miles from the Magnet school. In addition, after October 1st a student not otherwise eligible for transportation may be assigned to ride school buses when empty seats on the bus are available.

4. My children are bused to a school further away when they could walk to a closer school. Why can’t they walk to and attend the closer school?

The proximity of students to schools is one of the considerations reviewed when reviewing potential school boundary changes.  Sometimes, due to the locations of schools and the distribution of the population in Broward County, boundaries are drawn such that addresses located at the periphery of a school's attendance area may actually be closer to another school. These addresses, however are assigned to the school in whose boundary they are located.

5. Why isn't the cost of transporting students considered in the criteria for establishing school attendance area boundaries?

Although the potential bus transportation cost is not part of the initial criteria that is reviewed for boundary changes, distance and proximity of students to school sites are reviewed.  The actual cost for school bus transportation is determined based partly on the existing bus routes, the number and location of students requiring transportation services.  When boundary changes are considered for School Board adoption, the District's Transportation Department provides a cost impact statement as part of the materials delivered to the School Board prior to school boundary change consideration for approval/adoption.

6. What was the policy on Choice Areas and transportation when the Seminole Middle to Plantation Middle Choice Area was established?

School Board Policies 5001, 5003, and 5004 were amended in 12/15/09 and combined into the current School Board Policy 5004.1.  In 2000-01 when the Seminole Middle to Plantation Middle choice area was adopted, Policy 5001 provided the following rule for transportation of students:

a. The District is not obligated to provide transportation for reassigned
students. It is the parent's responsibility to provide transportation to the
reassigned school.
b. Parents can request, via their requested school, a seat on the school bus
through the empty seat policy. However, a seat is not guaranteed.   

After policy 5001 was combined into policy 5004.1 in 12/15/09 it read:

D. Reassignments - For all reassignment approvals, parents will be notified
that they must assume responsibility for transportation, attendance, and behavior
of the student, and that failure to do so will result in a rescission of the
reassignment. The District is not obligated to provide transportation for
reassigned students. It is the parent's responsibility to provide transportation to
the reassigned school. Parents can request, via their requested school, a seat on
the school bus through the "empty seat policy." However, a seat is not
guaranteed. A reassignment at one school level does not guarantee the approval of a reassignment at the next school level.

G) Facility Use and Construction

1. Has building classrooms been considered as a way to relieve overcrowding at my school?

Due to a surplus in districtwide permanent capacity of approximately 25,000 seats, the most recent (September 2013) State Plant Survey has restricted the District from building any additional student capacity. Therefore no new schools or classroom additions can be built until the current number of districtwide surplus seats is reduced.

2. Could the School District close schools in the east so that they could build more capacity in the west?

The annual school boundary process reviews the establishment of schools and school attendance zone boundaries for the ensuing school year(s). During this process the Superintendent of Schools recommends to the School Board the execution of plans for the establishment, organization, and operation of the schools in the District. Part of the review process includes repurposing/consolidation of schools whenever the needs of pupils can better and more economically be served. This process does not guarantee that any new building could occur. A school consolidation or repurposing does not determine the building need for more capacity. The state determines this based on the five year State Educational Plant Survey.

3. Why has the District not built additional capacity to meet the needs of Weston schools? Weston has always had an over-enrollment problem. Why is this just now becoming an issue?

An elementary (D2), middle (NN) and high (MMM) school were part of the District’s five year District Educational Facilities Plan (DEFP) to provide additional capacity for the Weston area. Due to a districtwide surplus in capacity, these facilities were removed from the capital plan by the 2008 State Educational Plant Survey, Florida Department of Education, Office of Educational Facilities. As of the 2013-2014 benchmark day of enrollment there were over 25,000 empty permanent seats available throughout the District. The State requires these spaces be filled before new school capacity would be considered for funding. As no new capacity can be added, schools may need to undergo boundary changes in order to meet school concurrency Level of Service (LOS).

4. Will the portables being used by ESE and Headstart students be phased out?

Relocatables purchased with federal funding will remain in use for Headstart and ESE.

5. Does any portion of my city taxes go to the Broward County School Board for the construction of schools located within my city?

Broward County Public Schools does not receive any city taxes for the construction of schools.
For additional information contact Omar Shim, Capital Budget, (754) 321-8200.

6. My builder told me that I am paying additional fees in my purchase price toward the construction of new schools within my development/area/city/etc. Is this true?

Some developers/builders pay an Impact Fee. The revenue from this fee is expended for school construction in the zone in which it is collected. The District is divided into four zones. It is up to the developer to determine whether or not to pass this cost on to the buyer of a home. These fees go towards new schools and capital costs. Impact fees make up an estimated 2.41 percent of the entire revenue for Broward County Public Schools.
For additional information contact Growth Management, (754) 321-2160.

7. Can the New River Circle Annex relocatable site be used to provide capacity for an overcrowded school?

No. The New River Circle Annex has already been removed from the District’s student capacity numbers. It is currently coded as administrative space. State approval would be required to revert this space back into student capacity numbers, and this outcome is very unlikely given the large amount of excess districtwide student capacity.

8. After relocatables are removed per the Interlocal Agreement (ILA), will more boundary changes be necessary?

The interlocal agreement for school concurrency between Broward County, the School Board and the municipalities requires incremental school boundary changes to be made to use existing available school space within the District. During the remaining years the District will continue to make boundary changes to align enrollments with the 2019-20 Level of Service (LOS) of 110% permanent capacity.

H) School Programs

1. My child is in the gifted program and plans to attend a top university. Will the high school that serves this area give him/her the academic background he/she needs?

Yes, all high schools offer a core academic program leading to admission into the State University System of Florida as well as other rigorous institutions. All high schools offer gifted and honors programs for students. All schools offer a math sequence leading up to and including Advanced Placement Calculus.
For additional information please contact your school directly.

2. What is the best high school in town?

Each of our high schools has been recognized for individual accomplishments. Although each school is unique, all high schools in the Broward County Public School District have strong educational programs designed to meet the needs of all students.  All schools post the Florida School Accountability Report card for their school on the web.  When looking at overall test scores, please consider that these are composite scores including the scores of students in the gifted program, students in college prep classes, students in general education classes, students in remedial classes, students learning English, and special education students.  These scores may not provide much guidance in choosing the best school for your student.  Contacting and/or visiting the school will provide you with better information on whether a particular school has the best program for your son or daughter.  The Broward County School District is committed to maintaining the availability of a full program at each school and is intended to enable families to choose their home school without being concerned that their choice will keep their child from having the education they need to succeed.

3. I've heard both good and bad things about the high school that serves this residential area. How can I find out what the school is really like?

Call the school and arrange to visit and talk with the principal or a counselor. School websites, school phone numbers, and school addresses are listed at http://www.browardschools.com/School-Info.

4. What is the difference between an Innovative Program and a Magnet Program?

An Innovative Programs provides unique or thematic instruction to attract and maintain home boundary student enrollment. A Magnet Program is designed to attract students from outside a school's attendance area to an under-enrolled school.  
For additional information contact Innovative Programs, (754) 321-2070.

5. What does Title I mean?

Title I schools are schools that receive federal dollars because they have 50% or more students entitled to free or reduced lunch based on economic status.
For additional information contact Title I, (754) 321-1400.

6. Doesn't the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) cause schools to become over enrolled? How does concurrency affect schools receiving or sending OSP students?

Students receiving OSP choice are offered a selection of schools to attend.  Of the schools receiving OSP choice, student attendance is assigned based on where classroom space is available so that schools do not become over enrolled due to the federally mandated choice.  This enables schools to plan on meeting school concurrency level of service and class size mandates when possible.
For additional information contact Demographics & Student Assignments, (754) 321-2480.

7. Are Magnet Programs causing schools to become over enrolled? How does school concurrency affect magnet schools?

Magnet Programs are placed in under-enrolled schools to attract enrollment from outside a school's boundary. Student reassignment into Magnet Programs is controlled so that schools do not attract more students than the permanent building capacity available at the school.  This enables schools to plan on meeting school concurrency level of service, class size and federal requirements to provide student choice.
For additional information contact Innovative Programs, (754) 321-2070.

I) Class Size, School Concurrency, Level of Service

1. How does class size, school concurrency level of service, and the State Plant Survey impact school boundary planning?

The boundary process is impacted by state mandated class size reduction, school concurrency, and the 2008 State Educational Plant Survey.

In 2008 the State Plant Survey process looked at how much total capacity existed in the District against State projected enrollment. The State found that there were approximately 34,000 total seats available throughout the District to meet current and future enrollment needs. As a result, the State will not fund any new school or classroom additions that were not already under Total Project Management (TPM) contract. For school boundaries it means schools must meet period-by-period class size reduction and school concurrency level of service (LOS) with space available throughout the District. In some cases, available space may not be adjacent to the school needing immediate relief which could result in a domino of school boundary changes.

School Concurrency compounds space utilization. School concurrency requires school enrollment to be concurrent with future planned residential growth. By 2008 an interlocal agreement was adopted by the School Board, County, and each municipality so that each school must have a plan where enrollment is no more than the Level of Service (LOS) now defined as 100% of gross FISH capacity. In 2019 the LOS will revert to 110% of permanent FISH capacity at each school.

Class Size Reduction (CSR) requires all core classes to have no more than 18 students per classroom for grades prekindergarten through 3, 22 students per classroom for grades 4 through 8, and 25 students per classroom for grades 9 through 12. Since 2004 Broward Public School Enrollment has declined. This means most schools now have space within their school facility to meet class size requirements. An overcrowded school may meet the class size mandate through targeted use of teachers and focused scheduling efforts. The CSR mandate not being met in a school by these strategies may require a boundary change to be able to meet the CSR mandate.

For additional information contact BCPS, Growth Management, (754) 321-2160.

2. What are the class size reduction targets?

Section 1 of Article IX of the State Constitution was amended in November 2002 establishing, by the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, the maximum number of students in core-curricula courses assigned to a teacher in each of the following three grade groupings: (1) prekindergarten through grade 3, 18 students; (2) grades 4 through 8, 22 students; and (3) grades 9 through 12, 25 students. The Florida Department of Education will be monitoring class size.  For additional information regarding class size reduction, go to:
http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/classsize/
http://www.fldoe.org/ClassSize/

3. Class Size Reduction is listed as a consideration for boundary planning. What might cause a school to not meet Class Size Reduction targets?

Currently most schools are anticipated to remain under 100% of their gross capacity and therefore have sufficient physical capacity to meet the Class Size Reduction mandate. As such, failure to meet Class Size Reduction requirements is more likely to be due to a lack of sufficient funding for teaching staff than lack of physical space.

The School Board of Broward County, Florida, prohibits any policy or procedure which results in discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, marital status, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Individuals who wish to file a discrimination and/or harassment complaint may call the Executive Director, Benefits & EEO Compliance at 754-321-2150 or Teletype Machine (TTY) 754-321-2158. Individuals with disabilities requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, (ADAAA) may call Equal Educational Opportunities (EEO) at 754-321-2150 or Teletype Machine (TTY) 754-321-2158.

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Last updated: 09/19/14 20:19:50