D203 School Board Meeting 03/05/12

At the latest District 203 school board meeting, members continued to delay any action towards both all day kindergarten and redistricting. Superintendent Mark Mitrovich suggested disregarding all-day kindergarten for the rest of the school year due to uncertainty at the state legislature. Possible Illinois pension reform pose a threat to schools receiving financial aid, including District 203, making it potentially more difficult for the district to afford start-up costs for all-day kindergarten. Mitrovich – who all along has been the primary advocate for a full-day kindergarten program– said to hold off on a decision until next Fall.

“Primarily at that time we hope to have some sense of what the general assembly has done to us,” said Mitrovich.

But he assured the others that his administration remains committed to adding all-day kindergarten in the near future.

“It is crucial that these kids have a fair foundation for what they do,” he added. “We know that the best investment in a students education is at grades K through two when they are the most impressionable.”

Even if approved, a full-day kindergarten program would likely not be added until fall of the 2013 school year.

In the meantime, the board also agreed to move forward with redistricting but only in order to address more immediate concerns and still didn’t come to a final decision.

Over the last few months a committee has helped district administrators develop a map outlining possible boundary changes to ease over crowding issues and create a bit of breathing room at schools that are at or near capacity to fit extra programming like all-day kindergarten.

The proposed plan would move more than 1,200 students district-wide between schools. At the meeting, members did not make any motion to vote on the plan, yet agreed that if anything, they would just move enough students to ease problems Beebe and mill face since all-day kindergarten is now a non-issue.

The 203 school board will revisit redistricting at their next board meeting on March 29th.


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