Steamboat Springs School Board to vote on new district boundaries Dec. 14
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Parents got a chance to weigh in on the proposed new boundaries of the Steamboat Springs School District on Tuesday, the last public forum in English explaining the plan before it goes before the school board for approval on Dec. 14.
The last forum is in Spanish on Thursday.
The addition of the new pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade Sleeping Giant School next fall required the district to redistribute which students went to which schools.
The plan creates three new boundaries, which send students to schools based on which boundary they live within. The west boundary will send students to Sleeping Giant for both elementary and middle school. The central boundary will send students to Soda Creek Elementary School and the east boundary will send its students to Strawberry Park Elementary School. Students in both central and east boundaries will attend Steamboat Springs Middle School.
Mark Rydberg, the district’s finance director, said the district had received about 20 emails from parents, mostly looking for clarifying information about the plan. Largely, the district has not seen much pushback to the plan, but Rydberg said it could still come in January when families are sent more information about their individual situations.
He said the community engagement meetings have not reached as many of the district’s families as he thinks they would have if meetings could have been held in person.
“I think we have done a thorough process. I think there was definitely community impact by having to do it through Zoom and not having stuff at the schools,” Rydberg said. “But I think we did the best we could for the kind of situation we were in.”
Many of the comments received were from out-of-district families looking for clarification about what boundary zone they were in or how to reapply to the district.
All out-of-district students will need to reapply to the district this fall and will be placed in schools after all other students who live in the district have been placed. The district factored in those students when they designed the new boundaries, and Rydberg said there should be room for those students.
“We counted them when we did our estimate, so there should be room,” Rydberg said. “There is a possibility that, on same grade levels, it could get a little bit high, class size wise.”
Out-of-district students will find out which school they will attend in the middle of August.
The new plan seeks to spread students out among the schools through an equitable and fair process. Students in seventh and fourth grades will be able to stay at their current school for their final year in that school, and siblings of those students will be given priority when deciding who goes where.
Start times at various schools will be staggered to make sure all students will be able to ride a bus to school. Many students will still get on the same bus and route but may be dropped off at a different school.
The school board will vote on the new boundaries at its Dec. 14 meeting, and Rydberg said he is confident the board will accept the recommendation.
West Boundary neighborhoods include: Steamboat II, Silver Spur, Heritage Park, West Acres, West End, Sleepy Bear, as well as neighborhoods accessed by Routt County Road 129.
Central Boundary neighborhoods include: The Reserves at Steamboat Springs Riverside, Whitehaven, Fairview, Conestoga, Indian Trails, Dream Island and downtown neighborhoods east to Second Avenue. The boundary also includes the area east of Routt County Road 33, south of U.S. Highway 40 and west of U.S. 40, including Brooklyn, Treehaus, Daugherty Road, south of Walton Creek Road and west of Whistler Road.
East Boundary neighborhoods include: East of Second Avenue, north and east of U.S. 40, including Alpenglow, Fish Creek Falls mobile home park, the Tamarack, Hillside and Fish Creek Falls neighborhoods as well as Steamboat Boulevard and other mountain neighborhoods.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the name of Mark Preuss.