OCPS set to open five new schools in the 2022-23 school year

Orange County Public Schools is relying on five new schools next year to relieve some of the overcapacity issues in the county.

One student, 10-year-old Caua Lemos says school’s changed a lot in the last two years since he’s been in the Orange County district. "I think there’s, from last year to this year, it’s grown a lot, and only in my class there’s 26 students. There’s a bunch of kids and new kids are coming in everyday from each class," said Lemos.

That’s why he’ll likely be attending one of the district’s five new schools next year: Hamlin Elementary, Hamlin Middle and Panther Lake Elementary in Winter Garden, Stonewyck in Orlando and Kelly Park K-8 in Apopka. The new schools will take overcapacity students from 12 current schools in the district. Those 12 schools combined have 4,256 students overcapacity. 

"Actually we need it. His school, he has 32 students in his class and it’s crazy. So it’s about time we get a new one," said Ashraf Abualsuod, whose son is a kindergartner.

Parents and students say the class sizes right now are so large, they’re hurting the children’s education. "Sometimes we ask him ‘what did you guys learn today? Did your teacher help you with this?’ And he says ‘no, she was busy with the other kids.’ And it just feels very hectic," said Abualsuod.

"They even had to make it, in the middle of the year, they had to make new classrooms so kids could go and have teachers," said Lemos.

The new schools are set to open in August.