Miami-Dade schools

School Board may convert struggling Campbell Drive Middle to magnet school

 

dsmiley@MiamiHerald.com

One year after creating a state-ordered plan to change the course of struggling Campbell Drive Middle School, the Miami-Dade school district has a new vision for the under-performing and under-enrolled school.

The School Board on Wednesday will take its first look at a proposal to re-purpose the school at 900 NE 23rd Ave., Homestead — possibly as a magnet school for advanced academics serving high school and perhaps middle school students. Campbell Drive’s current and future students would be transferred to nearby Homestead and Redland middle schools, but might be able to apply for seats at the re-purposed school.

Campbell Drive’s new model — which remains a work in progress — would kick in this fall if finalized. The School Board will take the first of two votes on its attendance zone Wednesday.

“This is going to be so [South Dade] children won’t have to leave to go to a high academic facility,” said School Board member Lawrence Feldman. “I think the idea really was we need to look at the school so we can make a nice place that offers something for everybody, not just kids in our schools but also kids who go to charter schools and private schools.”

The proposal comes during a year in which the state required the district enact a “turnaround” plan for Campbell Drive Middle due to its repeated “D” grades from the Florida Department of Education. State law forced districts last year to come up with concrete ways to improve such low-performing schools, which could be shuttered or converted to charters if improvement is not seen over several years.

But Associate Superintendent Pablo Ortiz, who oversees the district’s Education Transformation Office for struggling schools, said the new plan for Campbell Drive is not driven by the school’s academic woes. Rather, he said, it is a nod to the school’s shrinking enrollment. With 444 students this year, it is only one-third full. Similarly, Homestead and Redland middle schools, which together would take on 365 current and future Campbell Drive students, are substantially under-enrolled.

“Part of our responsibility is to maximize the use of all of our facilities. We have three middle schools impacted that are under-enrolled,” Ortiz said. “We want to solidify the enrollment at Redland and Homestead Middle, and then that gives us an opportunity to use Campbell Drive in a unique fashion.”

Exactly how Campbell Drive Middle would change is not certain. Ortiz said the details are being hammered out, and what grades the school will serve — and even whether the school will be a magnet — remain unresolved. But Ortiz said the change would start in the fall and benefit all schools involved.

He stressed that the two schools receiving Campbell Drive’s students, including more than 100 with special needs, are well-prepared for the change and would receive extra funds and new programming along with the school’s students. Students currently zoned to attend Campbell Drive Middle and living north of Southwest 312th Street would attend Redland Middle. Students to the south would attend Homestead Middle.

“Really, this allows us to strengthen what’s at those middle schools, add a few wrinkles to what they’re doing and to better align them with their high schools,” Ortiz said. “That can only help them.”

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
A sign stands at 1448 NW 103rd St. in Miami to let passers-by know the government demolished the house even though the owner was on active military duty.

    Miami-Dade County

    Miami-Dade demolished active-duty soldier’s home

    A federal judge ruled last week that the county should have delayed building-code violation proceedings against the soldier when he asked for a stay while he was in Iraq.

  • Friends and Neighbors

    Friends and Neighbors: Campaign raises money to feed hungry school children

    Local food banks want to help children who often go hungry get what they need to thrive in school. Community support is needed.

  • Friends and Neighbors

    Florida Mayors join forces to say no to bullies

    Looking back at my growing up days, I can remember how school bullies tried to made life miserable for me and a lot of other youngsters. I remember being followed home one day by a bully who wanted to start a fight. When I kept ignoring her, she soon turned, with her followers and went home. Unlike some of today’s bullies, she didn’t try to hit me. She was just all mouth, spitting out insulting remarks.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category