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Shen eyes line changes; Full schools make redistricting necessary

At Tuesday's meeting, the Shenendehowa Central School District board of education heard plans for redistricting the elementary and middle schools.

Laraine Longhurst, assistant to the superintendent, showed elementary boundaries which would include six changes to achieve balance across schools in the district. Students residing in the Village Green community will be assigned to Okte Elementary School, while those north of Ushers Road will be assigned to Karigon Elementary.

Students in an area just south of the Shen campus along Clifton Park Center Road will attend Skano Elementary, and those along Route 9 south of Sitterly Road will be assigned to Shatekon Elementary. Children residing in Turf Mobile Home Park will be assigned to Orenda Elementary.

Longhurst said that the changes were made to help alleviate an 11 percent overage at Shatekon Elementary. Overall, schools are close to capacity and the redistricting study showed that Chango, Karigon, and Tesago are 1 to 2 percent above capacity.

Middle school boundaries will be similar to those for the elementary schools in the district. However, Longhurst expressed concern about switching students in the 6th and 7th grades to new schools.

It's a huge issue, she said. "Kids are there three years and it's tough to go to one school and switch to one and then another."

The elementary redistricting plan will be brought to the board for approval in January, and orientation plans are expected to be ready by early spring.

The middle school redistricting plan will need to be evaluated for balance among the schools.

In other news, Leif Engstrom of the Capital District Planning Commission presented five-year enrollment projections for the district. His study showed that kindergarten through seventh grade enrollments are down by 73 students, which Engstrom attributed to a slowdown in the area housing market and a lower birth rate.

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