New technical magnet considered for Coconut Creek High

A struggling school may get a popular technical magnet program under a proposal being weighed by the Broward County School Board.

The plan calls for Coconut Creek High, underenrolled and D-rated by the state, to get $1 million in upgrades and launch Creek Technical Center. It would offer medical, public service and law programs and be a mirror of Atlantic Technical Center, a nearby magnet that receives more applications than it has seats.

Community and school board members envision the new program – the district’s fourth technical high school – transforming Coconut Creek High.

“You have put together a jewel that everyone is going to want across this county,” board member Robin Bartleman on Tuesday told those who worked on the proposal.

An earlier version of the plan included a veterinary assisting program, but board members balked at the $800,000 price tag and the fact it came in third (after public service and law and environmental engineering) on a preference survey completed by community members.

District staff brought the new plan to the board for the first time Tuesday. The magnet would now offer training in areas including electrocardiograph technology, practical nursing, emergency medicine and court reporting.

Board member Nora Rupert, who represents the district where the school sits and helped work on the proposal, said she was “thrilled with the outcome.”

Implementing the magnet program would cost under $1.1 million, according to administrators: $600,000 to convert three classrooms into the district’s first “medical suite,” $150,000 for state-of-the-art computer labs, $77,000 for a magnet coordinator and $250,000 for transportation.

If approved, the magnet program would have 150 seats available for freshmen beginning next year and would enroll 600 students in four years. It would serve students north of Sunrise Boulevard and partner with Atlantic Technical Center.

City officials and residents from affected cities – Coconut Creek, Margate and North Lauderdale – praised the proposal, which school board members will vote on after public hearings on Feb. 24 and March 9.

“When I walk my dog at 5:30, 6 o’clock in the morning, there are five buses picking up kids to go to other schools,” said Coconut Creek Mayor Becky Tooley. “That’s totally wrong. Next year, I hope there’s not even one bus picking up kids.”

bshammas@sunsentinel.com, 954-356-4528 or Twitter @britsham

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-new-tech-school-20160209-story.html

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