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COVID-19: Here’s The Palm Beach County School Problem, And It’s Not New

palm beach county school dsitrict

When Capacity Meets COVID-19, There’s A Problem That Transcends Politics and Personality

Logo for the Palm Beach County School District.

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Take the politics and personal opinions out of the “should schools open in person?” question and look at numbers that have been facing the Palm Beach County School District for years.

Many — if not most — of the schools in Palm Beach County are near, at, or past capacity, which makes social distancing a non-starter. The overcrowding problem is a problem that is largely brushed aside year after year. Now it may very well lead to Palm Beach County Schools starting the year with distance learning.

Here’s a sampling of local public schools using the Palm Beach County School District’s own Capacity Watch List. The numbers are based on the physical building — portables (mobile trailers used as classrooms) are considered a sanitization and sterilization problem so not included.


Eagles Landing Middle School for the 2020-2021 school year = 116-percent capacity.

Loggers Run Middle School for the 2020-2021 school year = 119-percent capacity.


Boca Raton Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year = 95-percent capacity.

Olympic Heights High School for the 2020-2021 school year = 100-percent capacity.

Boca Raton High School for the 2020-2021 school year = 113-percent capacity.

Omni Middle School for the 2020-2021 school year = 107-percent capacity.

Del Prado Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year = 101-percent capacity.

Whispering Pines Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year = 97-percent capacity.

Verde Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year = 131-percent capacity (although the new structure should mitigate this overage).

Del Prado Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year = 101-percent capacity.

The problem is simple: there is no space to socially distance, and school officials have apparently nixed a “hybrid” schedule in which some students go to school some days and others go other days, fearing that parents won’t be able to follow along. The Palm Beach County CTA — today — is meeting with school administrators to demand that school NOT start — in person — in August.

While a national pediatrician group says it’s important for kids to be in school, they also say it can only happen if CDC guidelines are followed. There are serious questions now as to whether those guidelines can be followed in the Palm Beach County School District.


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