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Maniscalco Elementary is one of the schools that may add grades and become a K-8 campus.

Hillsborough County (Fla.) district wants to convert 3 more elementary schools to K-8 campuses

District wants to ease the elementary-middle school transition, and stem the exodus of students to charter schools.

Seeking to ease the transition from elementary to middle school and slow the exodus of pre-teens to charter schools, the Hillsborough County (Calif.) School District plans to convert three more elementary schools to a K-8 configuration.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the three elementary schools in line for conversion are Lutz and Maniscalco elementary schools in Lutz, Fla., and Pizzo, in Tampa. Lutz, in particular, has lost many students to the popular Lutz Preparatory charter school.

The plan is to add one middle school grade each year, beginning in August 2018 with sixth grade. Students will have a choice of remaining in the K-8 school – assuming there is enough room for them – or attending the middle school where they would normally be assigned.

The district says that enough empty elementary seats are available at the campuses in question to fully carry out the conversion.

Hillsborough now operates K-8 schools at several campuses: Roland Park, Rampello, Turner-Bartels, Tinker and Sulphur Springs, which is partly converted. Cahoon Elementary and Van Buren Middle are in the process of merging; that new school will be named for historian Carter G. Woodson.

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