Some major changes could be coming to Hollywood Schools soon. Members of the Hollywood Commission are developing a proposal to the Broward County School Board to change some of the schools in the city.
For years, there has been a desire to have a middle school in the Hollywood Hills area. The Commission is proposing that a middle school be added to the campus of Hollywood Hills High School. The school would now offer grades 6-12. To free up room for the middle school, the Entrepreneur and Leadership Military Academy, a magnet program, will be moved to another location. There would be a Gifted Academy program for the high school students.
About 700 students would attend the middle school.
Vice Mayor Traci Callari is a strong proponent of this plan. She believes too many Hollywood residents are either sending their children to private or charter schools or moving to other cities because there is no middle school in the Hollywood Hills area. “If we have a better education system people will embrace the schools in their community,” Callari said.
Another component of the plan would be to combine the Mary Bethune Elementary School and the Attucks Middle School making it a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school.
Also, Hollywood Central Elementary School would add a middle school program. This middle school would have about 300 students.
Mayor Josh Levy and other commissioners are hoping to develop a middle school at Hollywood Hills High and move the Entrepreneur and Leadership Military Academy to another high school. Levy and other commissioners have said the Academy is under enrolled.
They believe that if the Academy is moved to another location, this will free up space for a middle school at Hollywood Hills High School. There is concern that there is no middle school in the Hollywood Hills area. “This biggest issue is that Hollywood families do not send their middle school age children to public middle schools in Hollywood. The public middle schools are enjoying the same level of enrollment as middle schools in other cities. The addition of a new middle school at Hollywood Hills would seek to attract those students who are now attending charter schools or private schools.
Another goal is to develop a high level academic program at Hollywood Hills. This program would include high rigor academic courses and programs.
Audrey Dallaire, a Hollywood Resident, Education Advisory Board member, a P.R.O.U.D. Eagle Parent, and a Magnet Program Coordinator at Attucks Middle School, is concerned about the proposed changes.
Dallaire wrote in an email to the Hollywood Gazette that Attucks Middle School has made great progress and improvements.
“Sadly, this progress was made in spite of the lack of support from many in our community,” Dallaire continued. “The residents of Central Hollywood who refuse to send their children to our school do so because they are misinformed by the perpetuation of discussions that Attucks is a ‘bad school’ by community influencers and public officials such as yourselves.
This prejudice is enabled and empowered by yet another misguided proposal to give Hollywood Hills it’s own middle school by turning Hollywood Hills High School into a 6-12 campus despite having three high-quality public middle school programs less than 4 miles from the proposed site.”
Dallaire ended by writing: “At a time where those in power seek to divide us, our school will continue to stand as a beacon of diversity and inclusivity for our community. Most importantly, we will continue to provide academic excellence for every student who enters the Attucks Community; where everyone belongs, every single day.”
Jill Young, director of school boundaries for the Broward school district added, “These proposals are community or District ideas that have been submitted for the School Board’s review through the annual school boundary review process: https://www.browardschools.com/Page/40962.”
To understand more about the annual school boundary process and these proposals a School Board Workshop will be held on October 8, 2019 to discuss all school boundary proposals. The workshop is streamed live at https://www.browardschools.com/Page/35670.