Redistricting process marches on | SteamboatToday.com
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Redistricting process marches on

Final hurdle is South Routt School Board vote on March 15

— The South Routt School Board has spent countless hours reworking its district boundaries, and that process soon will come to a close.

On Wednesday, board members Tim Corrigan, Gena Hange, Willie Smith, Linda Long and Janette Manke held a special work session to redistrict a portion of the county that has experienced population changes throughout the school system’s seven director districts.

Board members spent nearly five hours before coming to a consensus on the boundaries for seven new districts. School Board member are elected to represent the district in which they reside, and the populations of each director district are supposed to be as close to equal as possible for purposes of fair representation.



The Colorado Department of Education mandates district’s look at population numbers and district boundaries every five years.

“There is growth in the Stagecoach area and also in Oak Creek, so we are just trying to have a representative tally as we go,” Superintendent Kelly Reed said. “We have to ensure there is a representative number of people in each district.”



Reed added that the changes to district boundaries, based on population numbers obtained from the county, “were fairly minimal.”

The Stagecoach area is broken up into essentially two districts. The town of Oak Creek also has two districts. The town of Yampa is essentially one district, and the rest of South Routt, which is sparsely populated, is two districts.

“Now, we have to put together a narrative that explains each of those district boundaries,” Reed said.

He added that describing the district boundaries to a person without a map would be difficult. A visible landmark such as a county road marks all boundary lines.

District business manager Dina Murray said the new district boundaries are based on census numbers and not growth of student populations from either the Stagecoach area or Oak Creek. The student population does not factor into a decision in which district boundaries are involved.

In the future, however, the South Routt School District is exploring the idea of asking students what community they live in so they can better track the student population.

If the Stagecoach area continues to grow, the district would not have to wait five years to redistrict again, Reed said.

Reed also said no School Board member will lose his or her seat based on the new boundary lines.

The School Board members present Wednesday interviewed Ann Clynke and Joel Harris about filling the District 5 seat vacated by Gary Miller. The board is scheduled to appoint a new member at its March 15 board meeting. It also is expected to approve the new district boundaries. A written description of the new boundaries should be available at the March 15 board meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at the district offices in Oak Creek.

– To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com


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