Rome City School District redistricting options may surface Wednesday

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ROME - Superintendent of Schools Peter C. Blake advised board of education members that “at least one” of the redistricting consultants contracted to guide the district in rearranging its school structure would attend the third redistricting ad hoc committee meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. in the Strough Middle School auditorium, 801 Laurel St.
 
Blake said either Ross Haber, the redistricting expert selected by the board or one of the principals of Vaysen Studios – interior designers with a Syracuse-based architecture firm and the associates Haber engaged to contribute to the work – would be on hand at what is intended to be the last open forum on redistricting before the board is faced with choosing a final redistricting plan.
 
The consultants were scheduled to attend both of the prior ad hoc committee meetings, but attended neither. They were also scheduled to present revised redistricting options to the board at its Jan. 27 meeting and postponed a presentation that day, citing feedback from the virtual community presentation had compelled them to again revise their plans.
 
“At least one of the consultants will be in attendance to answer any questions the
community may have,” said Blake.
 
The district itself has not received an advance of revised redistricting proposals, so Blake promised members that, if he were to receive that prior to the ad hoc meeting, he would share with the board accordingly.
 
With regard to whether a link would be made available to allow members of the community to view the event virtually, Blake hoped that would be possible but could not yet confirm it.
 
It also remains unclear whether, similar to the stream of regular meetings of the board, people would be able to view virtually, but not ask questions or make comments.
 
The district website does not yet provide a virtual viewing option, so whether one will be available prior to Wednesday’s event is to be determined.
 
Blake also shared that he hoped to have a conversation with FEMA by the end of month with regard to what funding would be made available in response to the closure of Staley Elementary School, caused by flooding last August, qualifying the district for the federal resources. Blake said that the next regular meeting of the board would not take place on the third Thursday, but on Monday, Feb. 28, to avoid a conflict with winter break.

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