How Were the Options Developed?

Data was plotted using Google Earth and the district’s transportation software (VersaTrans), which also plots residential location data for all students in the Rio Rancho district. Areas for potential relocation were divided into geographic cells, or “pockets” based on natural boundaries such as arroyos as well as roads, transportation routes and access, fence lines, and other features. (Nearly 90 pockets were plotted, with several dozen finding their way into various scenarios.) VersaTrans then extracted data on the number of students in each pocket at each grade level.

Elementary principals began reviewing possible scenarios in December. In all, nine scenarios were eventually developed, with multiple possibilities for boundary adjustments. The principals recommended that three of these scenarios go forward for review by the Community-Parent Advisory Team (CPAT), but strongly favored the scenarios that have now become Options 1 and 1A.

CPAT, supplemented by additional parents from some of the affected schools, reviewed the process and the proposed scenarios on January 21 (the meeting was postponed from January 16 due to the snowstorm that closed schools early that day). The CPAT members also recommended that Options 1 and 1A be presented to the public for review and comment.

Parents were able to review the options, meet the principals of the affected schools, and submit written comment at two Open Houses (1/28 and 2/6).  Several dozen parents took advantage of this opportunity, and more than 70 comments were submitted online in the course of the process.  These comments were very helpful in CPAT's discussions.    

CPAT and the elementary principals reviewed the comments on February 13 and made several changes that resulted in about 100 fewer students being proposed to change schools than in Options 1 and 1A.  These changes were developed into a new option, Option 2, for final consideration by the Board of Education. 

The Board considered the committee recommendation on February 24, at which time it took additional public comment.  With a slight adjustment, the board adopted the committee recommendation and approved the new boundaries, along with transfer options to allow parents to apply to have their children remain in their current school.