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Council features school board guest speaker and announces new local farmers market

By MELISSA BILL - | Jan 13, 2021


The Lehigh Acres Community Council got an update on the School District of Lee County’s new “proximity plan” for school assignment.

The council held its first monthly meeting of 2021 last Monday, Jan 4. The meeting featured a guest speaker from the school district.  Adam Molley, coordinator, Community Engagement Communications Department spoke in regards to the school district’s initiative to shift towards proximity in deciding what school or schools to which a student might be assigned.

According to Council Vice President Tyler Woodby, Molley spoke about the school boards current plans to lean towards proximity, or distance to the school, when it comes to elementary school assignment.

“They are looking not to eliminate School Choice, but bring back more of the community type schooling element,” Woodby said.

The Lee County School District has asked for the public’s input and has scheduled an informational meeting to review the four maps currently under consideration as to how future elementary aged students are assigned to schools.

According to Lee County School District website, the maps were drawn up by Davis Demographics, a redistricting firm hired by the school district last year to rework the boundaries of its 45 elementary schools.

The goal of the redistricting project is to create a plan that brings more than 41,000 students currently enrolled in elementary school in Lee County closer to home. If approved, the proximity plan could take effect by the 2022-23 school year. 

The meetings began Monday in Dunbar and continue through Thursday.

Remaining public meetings are:

• Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Three Oaks Middle School 

18500 Three Oaks Parkway, Fort Myers

• Thursday, Jan, 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Varsity Lakes Middle School

801 Gunnery Road, North, Lehigh Acres

Masks are required, and SDLC safety protocol will be followed.

Limited capacity is available at each site.

For more information, email ProximityPlan@LeeSchools.net

The council is also involved in a new local initiative started by Pastor Seth DeBartolo – the Lehigh Acres Farmers Market.

The Farmers Market will be located across from Lehigh Acres Elementary at 215 Richmond Avenue N. Lehigh Acres.

Saturday, Jan. 16, marks the kick-off for the local market, which will be held each Saturday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

According to DeBartolo, they are currently looking for all types of vendors, food trucks and people to sign up and volunteer.

“We need vendors whether it’s food, crafts, or a business. Anyone interested can contact myself or visit the website.  Any vendor that signs up now will get the first three weekends free if they commit to attending at least seven of the markets,” DeBartolo said. “We will be practicing social distancing and have hand sanitizer stations on site.”

DeBartolo’s main mission behind the farmers market is to create something for the community that can help initiate growth.

“‘Doing life together’ is the motto for this Farmers Market. There are so many wonderful things found in Lehigh. I love the wide array of food you can find here. We really need the community to step up and show that they have vendors to become part of the market and help it become a success,” DeBartolo  said.

This Saturday’s Farmers Market will feature a petting zoo, local crafts and food truck vendors from around the area.  

Anyone in the community interested in becoming a vendor or volunteering can call Pastor Seth DeBartolo at 239-896-8481andmention they want to be part of the market or visit the website https://lehighfarmersmarket.com/  and fill out a vendor application to sign up. 

The Lehigh Acres Farmer’s Market will run through seasonally from Oct 1 to April 30.

The Lehigh Acres Community Council will hold its next meeting on Monday, February 1 at 6:00 p.m. Meetings are held inside the Lee County Sheriff’s Office community room located at 1301 Homestead Rd N, Lehigh Acres