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What you need to know for 01/18/2018

Schenectady redistricting discussion goes online

Schenectady redistricting discussion goes online

A new website has been created to show city residents how school attendance zones may change.
Schenectady redistricting discussion goes online
Photographer: Erin O’Neill

A new website has been created to show city residents how school attendance zones may change.

Although shows three options for the elementary and middle schools, the ideas are just a starting point, school officials said. They plan to spend the next several months discussing the plans in detail, tweaking each idea street by street.

And they want residents to watch the evolution, as well, so they can speak up when they notice problems the committee overlooked. The next public meeting is Oct. 14.

The site shows an overlay map for the entire city, along with the location of all current schools. The most obvious changes can be seen around Elmer Elementary School, which will close when new attendance zones go into affect in 2016.

In the various options shown so far, Elmer’s students could be spread among Zoller, King, Keane and Howe elementary schools. Howe is slated to become a K-5 school in 2016.

But each option shows slightly different boundaries, as the consultant tried to determine which groups of streets should stay together.

“They’re examples of options,” said Schenectady City School District spokeswoman Karen Corona. “We don’t want people to think it’s going to be one of these. There could be completely different options, but they’re a starting point.”

Among other things, the options will give the committee something to work with as they try to decide the best zones for each school. The map shows “how one shift affects another,” Corona said.

For example, if committee members put students from another group of streets in Howe, they can immediately see the domino effect: Howe can become crowded while another school has too many empty seats.

It’s not an easy task, and showing that is one of the site’s goals.

“When you look at it from this view, you can really see how complex it is,” Corona said.

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