School proponents not releasing results of poll

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— Members of the north Routt County community were asked to vote on what kind of school charter or satellite they would want to see established in their part of the county Thursday night, but organizers are not releasing the results of that poll.

The results are not being released because the people involved in the north Routt effort want to first approach the Steamboat Springs Board of Education with any proposals, north Routt resident Cindy Gantick said.

"Our next mission is to see who wants to be a spokesperson and start informal discussions (with the district)," she said.

Community members were offered a choice between a satellite school, which would be an extension of the Steamboat Springs School District and must be approved by the board, or a charter school, which would be approved by the state and create its own personal mission, formulated by community members.

What was expected to be a vote Thursday night became more a poll, according to Sandy Clark, another north Routt resident involved in the effort.

"If they didn't want to vote, we encouraged them to give us suggestions," Clark said.

Clark said that after a third informational meeting May 9 in which residents discussed three schooling options homeschooling, charter schools and satellite schools the group decided that going to the community would be the best way to see what it wanted.

At a meeting last month, north Routt community members said perceived a need for a school in that part of the county, because of the distance from Steamboat Springs and the long bus ride for their children, as well as the distinct character of the community. Many also said that a school would be a good mobilizing force for the community.

The group identified about 100 families with children in north Routt, which includes Clark, Steamboat Lake, Columbine and Hahn's Peak.

A group began meeting about three months ago to discuss the options. Many families in north Routt already homeschool their children.

"No matter what kind of school is up here, I think everybody will work toward being part of it," Clark said.

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