Heidi Chapman-Hoy: Student population has grown because families want to live here | SteamboatToday.com

Heidi Chapman-Hoy: Student population has grown because families want to live here

As a parent, educator and community member, I am hopeful that we will come together in November to support current and future students to be the best they can be and give all students the tools to be confident and capable in their post-secondary endeavors. In my 27 years of living here, I have watched the community and schools grow, and this trend is not reversing any time soon.

Beautiful physical surroundings, access to amazing outdoor adventures, a caring and compassionate community, terrific schools, an abundance of extra-curricular activities for youth list a few of the qualities that make Steamboat Springs a wonderful and special place to live. 

Much has been stated about birth rates and how they correlate to the need for a new school. While these are important statistics to consider when making plans for the future, there is a reality that our unique community faces due to its incredible attributes — families are moving here.  

I have witnessed the journey personally and professionally. My oldest child and the class of 2023 has grown from 182 to 223 students since first grade (+41 students). The story of my second child, class of 2026, is a similar one. He just entered Steamboat Springs Middle School, and his class has grown from 183 to 226 from first to sixth grade (+43 students).

As an educator in the district for 20 years, I have seen class sizes swell as students move through the system. From the Front Range to the four corners of Colorado, to states east and west and nations north and south, we welcome new kids and families every year to the school district.

Student population has grown tremendously, not from birth rates or out-of-district students, but from families moving to our special community. While the middle school has not accepted any out-of-district applicants in six years, we continue to feel the impacts of overcrowding on a daily basis. 

Hallway congestion to the cafeteria seating that spills into the arcade to intervention classes on the stage, our students deserve appropriate spaces to learn and grow with dynamic, effective educators.

We, as a community, value high quality education. The time is now. Vote “yes” on 4A, 4B and 4C.

Heidi Chapman-Hoy 

Steamboat Springs

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