Santa Fe school district wants to redraw boundaries for high schools

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Santa Fe’s south side is booming and the school district said the high school on that side of the city is bursting at the seams.

Now the district wants to drastically redraw the boundaries to push more kids into the old high school. The district knows that redrawing boundaries can be controversial, but with the way Santa Fe is growing something has to be done.

Residents said Santa Fe is a great place to live. The city continues to attract new people, especially to the city’s south side.

“Santa Fe has a low crime rate, it keeps bringing people here,” said David Themis, a parent who lives on the South side. “There’s a lot of new buildings and construction on this side of town,” said Themis.

A lot of those new families moving in have children in high school, according to Santa Fe Public Schools. Capital High School on Paseo Del Sol on the South Side is well over capacity. Capital has about 1,500 students, almost 250 more than it should have.

Students said they’ve noticed it’s getting more crowded.

“I see more people on campus and generally more people around,” said Ben Vargas Conley, a Capital High School student.

The district said it wants to redraw attendance boundaries for Capital and Santa Fe High Schools to even out enrollment. Santa Fe High School in midtown can accommodate a couple hundred more students than it has. Its boundaries would almost double in size under the new plan.

Students said they think that’s a good idea.

“To balance it out would be very helpful for some schools that are not as populated,” said Vargas Conley.

Parents who live on the south side said having to drive across town wouldn’t be ideal.

“It’s busy over there during drop off times already,” said Themis.

However, they see the value in balancing out enrollment so Capital students would have smaller class sizes and more access to resources and facilities.

“I think if the benefits could be explained and they could be directly weighed against the drawbacks, then a lot of parents would be on board,” said Themis.

The district said it will give its final presentation to the board on Dec. 6. If the board passes it, the new boundaries would only affect freshman starting next year.

The overcrowding problem would be a lot worse at Capital High, if it weren’t for 300 students transferring on their own to Santa Fe H.S.

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