Shen redraws district map

Robinson pointed out that the map can be deceiving, as the geography doesn't exactly match population flow. Larger parts of the mapped boundaries do not exactly mean a larger population, as there are wetlands and rural areas to consider.

The boundaries were developed through a mathematical system which divided the district into 142 cells. These cells, or neighborhoods, were then configured according to the geographical layout of the land and transportation routes that made the most sense.

"It's not just going from building to building and putting kids in. It's not a shot in the dark, it's a very strategic method," said Robinson.

The data was also compiled with an estimate in mind of the number of new housing units expected to be built over the next three to five years. The ERC contacted developers to get an estimate of new developments in the area.

"As much as we'd like to be clairvoyant about 2010 or 2011, we don't know," said Robinson. "We anticipate the new elem-entary school to hold for the next three years. This doesn't necessarily address a perfect scenario, but it does project a much better scenario than we have now."

The last major redistricting plan was in 1995, and since then has been stable. For the first six to seven years, the boundaries were adjusted by assigning students in new developments and kindergarten students who had no older siblings. Since then, the schools are over their capacity, making it difficult to provide space for art, music and special services.

Less crowded

Robinson said when the eighth school opens, each school should consist of 540 students (with the exception of Arongen which is larger and meant to hold 675 students) to maintain small class size of 21-24 students.

Currently, Tesago is the most crowded, holding 220 extra students. In total, the seven schools are 460 students over target. The addition of Shatekon will help the current situation, but will still be over target with 693 students for Arongen and 555-567 for the other schools instead of the desired 540. The board's goal is to go from a 14 percent overcrowded situation in the 2006-07 school year to 4 percent by the 2007-08 school year.

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