Overcrowding at MSD Drives Changes to School’s Boundaries

Community members are passionately engaged in a process to reduce overcrowding at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD). The school has had persistent overcrowding since the 2014/15 school year, with current enrollment more than 10% above the school’s target maximum capacity. 

Broward County Public School (BCPS) Board engaged families, community members, and other stakeholders in an effort to reduce enrollment at MSD by modifying the school’s enrollment boundaries. It is considering a number of new boundary plans that would move one or more Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZ) out of MSD’s boundary area and into either Coral Glades High School or Coral Springs High School. New boundary implementation will be phased in so that current MSD students will not be affected.

The School Board hosted community meetings on October 3rd and November 3rd to solicit input. In addition, community members were invited to submit boundary proposals for consideration. 16 proposals were submitted prior to the school board’s October 31, 2022 deadline. 

Modifying existing school boundaries has become a lightning rod for parents and homeowners who may be impacted. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School currently maintains an ‘A’ rating from the Florida Department of Education, while the other two schools do not. 

Parents voiced concerns on social media sites and at the two public meetings. Some parents complained that their children would be sent to what they perceived as a “worse” school. Others were concerned with the potential impact a change would have on their home values. Others were concerned about the demographic impacts of carving out particular neighborhoods.

There are few alternatives to shrinking the school’s boundaries. Florida state law forbids BCPS from building a new school because there is a surplus of space for high school students countywide. 

The following criteria will be considered when determining the new boundaries:

Class Size – Any new plan must comply with the Florida class size statute

School Concurrency Level of Service 

Enrollment Impact

Diversity Impact – Will the proposed change impact any demographic population at a school by more than 5% 

Feeder Pattern Impact – Will the change split or further divide the number of students feeding a school from another school

School Proximity Impact – Will students travel farther to attend school

Neighborhood Integrity Impact – Will students in one neighborhood be assigned to different schools

Natural Barrier Impact – Will the requested change require students to cross natural barriers like major roads or waterways

A final recommendation from the Superintendent is expected in mid-January with public hearings to follow before a final decision. There will be additional opportunities for community input prior to a final decision.

For more info on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Boundary Process, visit www.browardschools.com/site/Default.aspx?PageID=40962 or call BCPS Demographics & Enrollment Planning Department at 754-321-2565.