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Shen redraws district map

The reality of constructing an eighth elementary school has set in with new boundaries for kindergarten through grade five in Shenendehowa. After Shen district voters approved the budget and construction of a new grade school to be called Shatekon in May, the district's elementary school boundaries will soon be changed to accommodate the new elementary school for the 2007-08 school year.

The school board met on Tuesday night and Superintendent L. Oliver Robinson gave the first presentation of the redistricting plans. The elementary school is to be built to ease the existing overcrowding problem the district faces.

\There has been an increasing trend in enrollment in the last three to five years, Robinson said. "We cannot deny that reality. We need to contend with that reality."

In December 2004, the board created the elementary redistricting committee (ERC) and approved criteria for the new boundaries. Students in same geographic area or neighborhood will be able to attend the same school when the numbers allow; siblings will be able to attend the same school; and transportation will be maintained efficiently with minimal added expenditure.

Robinson assured residents that the board will try to stay true to this, and the boundaries will not be finalized until January 2007, allowing for any necessary changes.

By the numbers

"There's no perfect answer to everyone's situation," Robinson said.

With the new boundaries, Tesago will have the most change, with 38 percent of its students changing schools; Orenda, with 36 percent; Skano with 35 percent; Arongen with 29 percent; Karigon with 26 percent; Okte with 4 percent; and Chango, the least with 1 percent. In total, one-third of the elementary students will have to change schools.

"We were surprised the numbers came out as low as they did," Robinson said.

According to the newly drawn map, current Arongen and Tesago students, especially those in Waterford, will primarily make up Shatekon, though all seven schools will be affected. The most noticeable changes are that children who currently attend Karigon will move to Orenda, and some from Skano will attend Okte.

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