Changes to District 204

Following a recent demographics study, district 204 administrators propose moving 300 students from among Cowlishaw, Longwood, and Young Elementary Schools to ease overcrowding there.

The students would be reassigned to Brookdale, Brooks, Owen, Steck, and White Eagle, with incoming fifth graders having the option to stay at their school. The measure would be effective for the 2013-2014 school year and only impact about 1.2% of the district’s student population.

“That does not downplay those concerns that these particular parents may have,” said Superintendent Dr. Kathy Birkett. “But I think that hopefully we’ve built enough trust that they know that those schools they’ll be going to are strong schools.”

“Some parents of Young Elementary School students welcome the changes, as it would mean there’d no longer be the need for the portable classroom that exists there now.

“I would prefer all of the kids to be in the same building instead of a mobile unit outside,” said Julie Wallace. “I think they do what they can.”

“I think it’s a great idea that we’re redistricting,” said Wendy Balda. “The school’s definitely overcrowded.”

At the middle school level, a small number of sixth graders would move from Granger to Hill and from Hill to Still, effective for the 2014 – 2015 school year.

Birkett says the district already has procedures in place, should the school board approve these reassignments that would make transitioning as seamless as possible.

“We already have dates set for meetings with parents of students that are affected with incoming principals of the school they’ll be joining, the outgoing principal and then visits to the schools because our main thing is we want to make sure our students are very comfortable,” she said.

The proposal doesn’t call for any students at the district’s three high schools to move. The District 204 Board of Education expects to vote on the possible changes at their January 14th meeting.

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