The Hamburg School District’s board of education moved to begin the process of redistricting on Monday evening.
The board also recognized a teacher who appeared on national television and discussed the district’s enrollment numbers.
Since the 2020 U.S. Census has been completed and certified, the school board will have to redraw its district lines in the near future.
“Under redistricting protocol for this school year, we have to determine where our zones and our school board zones will be placed as a result of the census report,” Superintendent Tracy Streeter said Tuesday. “We have to make sure that each zone meets equity, so you have to relate that to the population in that zone.”
The school board is fortunate in that one of its members, James Hartshorn, actually owns the company that does that process for many of the school districts in the state, Streeter said.
“He has volunteered to walk us through that process,” she said. “He will pull up all of the zones on a map and he – with the input of the board – will literally be moving people in and out of zones to get the numbers where they have to be.”
What the board did at Monday’s meeting was to approve a motion to move into phase II of redistricting, which will be the actual drawing of the maps.
Following a motion by board member Maggie Ware and seconded by Trey Tubbs, the board tentatively set a special meeting for Sept. 27 to redraw the lines.
During the meeting Streeter and Hamburg High School Principal Tim Outlaw presented HHS teacher Shelvia Ross to the board because Ross’s work as a teacher had been highlighted on the SEC Network.
The network is highlighting SEC players, and former HHS student and track standout Tiana Wilson, who is currently on the University of Arkansas track team, was selected. As part of her selection, Wilson was asked to highlight a teacher who made an impact on her, and she chose Ross.
“Of course Miss Tiana Wilson is a great person, and obviously so is Ms. Ross, and it is not every day that you get to see someone you know on national television,” Outlaw said.
Ross said being on the network was, “a wild experience.”
“Tiana is the first female athlete in the state of Arkansas to be chosen to be recognized by the SEC, and when they asked her for a person who impacted her, she chose me.” Ross said.
In addition to calling and asking a lot of questions by phone, the network also took some photos and video, she said.
In addition to highlighting Ross, the network is giving the Hamburg School District $5,000, Outlaw said.
Streeter presented the board with a tentative student enrollment count for the year, which stood at 1,573 Monday.
That’s 42 fewer students than the district had on Oct. 1 of last year. The school’s state foundation funding is based in part on how many students are enrolled.
Streeter said that the number won’t be finalized until October, but at that time she will give the board an October count for the last five years to compare.
“It is quite mind boggling, I will prepare you for that,” she said.
Of the students who are supposed to be actively in classes in the district, only five remain uncontacted, and for two of those the district has been able to contact an extended family member, Streeter said.
The district is already working through the court system with the remaining three, she said.