New temporary K-8 school in Pasco - WFLA News Channel 8

New temporary K-8 school in Pasco

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PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Dropping off your child at kindergarten for the first time isn't easy. Jenny Vanover, a mother, was especially nervous.

"I just wanted to know how they were going to be separated and how things were going to work," Vanover said.

Her kindergartner just started at Crews Lake in Pasco County. The former middle school is now K-8. Students who used to go to Shady Hills Elementary have to go to Crews Lake for the next two years while their school is closed for renovations.

Parents like Craig Rogers begged the district not to combine the schools. He doesn't like the idea of mixing elementary and middle school students. He also worries about class size.

"I think to save money we're taking it out on our children," Rogers said.

Principal Tom Barker says the class size problem is district wide, and it doesn't have anything to do with adding the Shady Hills kids. As for the concerns of putting the smaller kids with the older kids, he has an answer for that, too.

"We make sure the elementary kids and middle school kids don't have the same passing periods," Barker said. "But, most of our little kids live in same homes and neighborhoods as the older kids. They see them everyday and don't mind the change."

The plan is to separate the kids again once construction is complete at Shady Hills. Barker says he wouldn't mind making the school K-8 permanently.

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