School Board won’t change districts |

School Board won’t change districts

Alexis DeLaCruz

— The South Routt School Board will retain its seven director districts, board members decided Wednesday.

The board had been considering whether to reduce the number of districts to five and add two at-large seats to the board. Instead, the members agreed to keep the seven districts but to adjust their boundaries to provide more equitable representation for South Routt residents.

School Board members are elected to represent a specific director district, and school districts are required to update the boundaries of its director districts every four years.

“I sense that people want to have the seven equal districts,” School Board President Tim Corrigan said. “The (district) borders would change marginally to reflect the population growth in the district, especially in Stagecoach.”

Board member Rodney Wilson agreed.

“I feel we do need the seven districts as we have them now, we just need to restructure,” he said.

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Corrigan said he was persuaded that keeping the seven districts was the fairest way to move forward.

“If we had the at-large seats, we could have had over-representation of an area,” he said. “The South Routt School District is very diverse:it probably wasn’t such a good idea to shrink it to five.”

Had the board agreed to re-district, coming up with the money to hold a special May election could have been a tough sell to voters.

“It would have been hard to justify asking the taxpayers to approve the $7,500 it would have cost to hold the election,” Corrigan said.

Superintendent Kelly Reed told the board it has until the end of the school year to redraw the district boundaries.

The board most likely will schedule a special work session in February to discuss those changes.

During the nearly three-hour long meeting Wednesday, Reed also told the board that the South Routt Early Learning Center has taken a step in the right direction.

“I’m happy to announce that all the pieces are in place to move forward on (the project) without interruption,” he said.

The new center will be built next to South Routt Elementary School in Yampa.

“Hopefully, I will be prepared to come before the board in January asking for the board to commit to the project,” he said.

The next steps include getting a fund set up for Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant money to be distributed and getting contracts to build the center, he said.

In other business, the School Board:

– Approved its 2005-2006 financial audit and the hiring of an interim secondary math teacher and a full-time secondary vocational business teacher.

– Agreed to discuss at a meeting creating guidelines or policy on the process for getting sports added to the athletic program.

– Heard an in-depth presentation on the district’s School Accountability Report from Soroco Middle and High School Principal Dr. James Chamberlin.