Blackboard Bungle

In an era of overcrowded classrooms, who would build a school in a town with no children? The Palm Beach County School Board, that's who.

They were half right. Schools were needed. But in this instance not where they believed.

So last fall district officials decided the school would be built. But the board also asked staff to prepare a report to determine if there were special programs or classes the school could offer to attract students. This issue was revisited in October, when the district convened a school board workshop meeting that offered suggestions for how to use the school.

Ideas thrown on the table include creating a partnership with the nearby Morikami Museum with the introduction of an Asian Studies program, or the creation of a center for gifted children. The board may also decide to make the school optional for parents who live in certain undetermined areas.

Sound vague? It is.
Bob Hayes, the school board member who represents west Delray Beach, says even he doesn't know how it's all going to turn out. He believes plans should be finalized by the beginning of December -- at the latest.

The principal, Lynda Crandall, will need this time to prepare, and the district will need the time to advertise the school and accept applications if the board decides to make Morikami an option for parents throughout the district.

Hayes didn't want to comment on the wisdom of the decision to put the school there. Or the length of time it has taken to find a solution. Perhaps the school board did recognize this problem years ago, he says. He believes they just hoped if they ignored the problem long enough, it would simply go away.

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