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GATES Senior High Gains School Board Approval

The district gave the green light to it and nine other charter school applications during its Dec. 13 meeting.

Students at Learning Gate Community School in Lutz might soon have a sister high school to attend when they finish their eighth-grade year.

The Hillsborough County School Board approved charter school applications from all over the county during its Dec. 13 meeting, including one that paves the way for opening GATES Senior High School.

According to The St. Petersburg Times, most applications were approved without contention. The only real exception was the application for the New Tampa Academy, which was approved despite board member Jack Lamb’s request to table the issue until January.

GATES Senior High would serve as the high school for students that currently attend Learning Gate. That charter school focuses on environmental education and draws students from Carrollwood, Lutz, New Tampa and Land O’ Lakes in Pasco County. GATES would also be open to other students with an interest to attend.

The new high school will be located at 15316 N. Florida Ave. in Lutz. It is anticipated to open with about 150 students. No firm opening date has been set, according to Hillsborough School District documentation.

Other applications approved during the meeting were:

  • New Tampa Academy – This kindergarten through eighth-grade center is planned for the intersection of Highwoods Preserve Parkway and Brinegar Circle in New Tampa. It is expected to serve 665 students during its first year of operation with growth to 960 by year five.
  • Hillsborough Academy of Math and Science – This kindergarten through eighth-grade center would open during the 2013-14 school year, serving about 665 students. It has no set location as of yet.
  • Channelside Academy Middle School – This school would serve about 396 students at a 1029 E. Twiggs St. location.
  • Community Charter High School of Excellence – This school doesn’t have a proposed opening date or location. It is expected to serve about 250 ninth-grade students in its first year, growing to about 550 students through 12th grade by year five.
  • Bay Area Charter School at Hillsborough – This school also lacks a proposed opening date or site. It would serve kids in kindergarten through the eighth grade. The plan is to open with an enrollment of about 862 students and grow to more than 1,400 by the fifth year of operation.
  • Kid’s Community College Charter School – This elementary school doesn’t have a targeted opening date, but it is planned for the Tropical Acres area of southeast Hillsborough. It would offer an International Baccalaureate program, serving about 108 students in its first year of operation.
  • King’s Kids Academy of Health Sciences – This planned elementary school will open at 3000 N. 30th St. in Tampa. The intent is to open with about 114 students in year one and grow to 330 by year five. It will offer a standard curriculum with an emphasis on science.
  • RCMA Leadership Academy – This middle school is proposed to open at 18236 U.S. 301, serving students from Wimauma, Balm and Ruskin. Plans are to open with about 66 students in its first year of operation with growth to about 130 in years four through five.
  • W.E. Phillips Learning Academy – This elementary school will target migrant students when it opens at 2506 S. Parson Ave. The intent is to open with about 36 students and grow to roughly 115 in year five.

The school board also denied a charter school application. Small Pre Tech Learning Center Tampa did not gain approval for a high school that would serve troubled youth. School board staff determined the application did not meet state requirements.

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