New Manatee County Schools Helps With District Overcapacity


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, August 28, 2019 – A new middle school is now serving several communities in Lakewood Ranch starting this school year. Named Dr. Mona Jain Middle School, it is located 12205 44th Avenue East, next to the B.D. Gullett Elementary School and adjacent to the communities of Mallory Park and Indigo, both offering new Lakewood Ranch hones for sale.

This school was named after Dr. Mohinder Jain, a former Manatee County teacher, a proponent for several community organizations and advocate for children. The school was built at a cost of $45 million, and it includes 1,162 student stations. Mona Jain will have sixth through eighth grades, and about 637 students will attend in its inaugural year, absorbing the load of other middle schools in the School District of Manatee County.

Where Student Population Eases

One favorable impact will be felt at Carlos E. Haile Middle. Haile is located north off of State Road 64, sandwiched between the golf communities of Heritage Harbour and Greenfield Plantation. For the 2019‒2020 school year starting this August, Haile’s enrollment will decline by 300 students, from 1,173 to 879. This drop puts the school below its capacity of about 950 students for the first time in over two years.

Mona Jain Middle’s opening will also draw students from the Braden River and R. Dan Nolan middle schools. Braden River Middle’s students for this school year drops to 940 from 1,073, resulting in an under capacity of 155 seats from just 22 seats.

Nolan Middle, on the other hand, remains in overcapacity of about 54 students even at its projected enrollment of 978 students. However, it would be able to eliminate its five portables as classrooms as a result of Mona Jain’s opening, thus creating a safer school environment for students and teachers. A further reduction in load at Nolan Middle is expected in the next two years as Mona Jain takes in more students and as the district impose enrollment controls via school choice.

High School Students to Parrish

Meanwhile, the Parrish Community High School (erstwhile named North River High School) also opened this August and is expected to ease the load of the Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, and Braden River high schools. This high school in Parrish, which is located off Erie Road across south of the community of Copperstone, is admitting 485 students in its maiden year. It will absorb 118 students previously zoned for Lakewood Ranch High School.

The opening of the Parrish high school is a welcome development especially for its Lakewood Ranch counterpart. The capacity of Lakewood Ranch High is 1,799 students while its enrollment this school year is expected at 2,408 students, which compares with the 2,356 it enrolled last year.

In the state’s ratings for school year 2018‒2019, Lakewood Ranch High, along with Braden River High, R. Dan Nolan and Haile Middle, all got “A” grades. There were 20 schools which got an A rating out of Manatee’s 60 schools. The district had 19 schools with a B grade; 18 with a C; and two with a D. No school in the district got an F. Overall, the county’s school district got a B grade, the third consecutive year that it got this rating.