Compromise close over MAST Academy
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Parents, city leaders and students met with school board officials to discuss the controversial expansion plans for a South Florida school.
Key Biscayne will now have its first-ever high school, but it will share a campus with MAST Academy, a magnet school that demands high standards for its students.
Residents of Key Biscayne said, because they live there, they believe their children should have the right to attend class at the school, while the families of students who already attend MAST Academy said prospective students should meet the criteria and come out of the lottery system, just like everyone else.
During the meeting, Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said MAST Academy will remain the same, but when the new high school opens, in about seven weeks, preference will be given to Key Biscayne residents.
The City of Key Biscayne has come up with about $23 million to help fund this project. "Our people are past frustration, we've been under-served for years," said Key Biscayne mayor Frank Caplan. "We need major improvements in our K-8 center, which is our only public school. It is badly over-crowded. It's had deferred maintenance for a very long time, and it hasn't received the capital improvements required for a 60-year-old facility."
Patricia Blanco, whose child attends MAST Academy, said, "I don't think it's a complete loss because we did spend four hours with the superintendent. We never expect that much time with him. He gave us a lot of time, and he did hear us."
The superintendent said he recommends the school board vote on keeping MAST Academy as it is, open to the entire County if the student meets the requirements, and when the new school within the school opens, preference should be given to Key Biscayne students. After that, if any spots remain open, other students from across the County can be allowed to attend.
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