Monday’s Indian Prairie School District 204 board meeting brought major updates to the district’s boundary adjustment process, including a new, administration recommended boundary proposal and a proposed grandfathering option for some impacted students.
Dozens of protestors gathered outside before the meeting began. They represented the Ashwood Pointe and Ashwood Heights subdivisions and called for a solution to the broken high school feeder at Scullen Middle School. That group and others continued to voice their concerns during the meeting’s public comment period.
D204 Boundary Discussion
District 204 officials revealed in a workshop and later recommended the new boundary proposal.
It features elements of both Concept #1 and Concept #3 and impacts the fewest number of students at all levels.
The proposal’s elementary school map is similar to Concept #1, with some changes. It now sends some communities from May Watts Elementary to Cowlishaw Elementary to lower the May Watts student population.
Middle school adjustments include assigning the Fox Valley Mall residences from Fischer to Hill Middle School and moving an area near the railroad crossing on Route 34 from Fisher to Still Middle School. It also moves an area south of 103rd Street from Crone to Scullen Middle School.
At the high school level, the new proposal assigns the Fox Valley Mall residences to Metea Valley High School and includes similar boundaries to the district’s current map, with a target enrollment of 2,700 at each high school. It also assigns the Ashwood Park subdivision to Waubonsie Valley High School, instead of Neuqua Valley High School as slated in Concept #1 and Concept #3.
Downsides to the proposal noted by RSP and Associates include eight elementary to middle school broken feeders, three broken high school feeders at Still, Crone, and Scullen Middle Schools, and that some of these changes are new to the boundary committee and community.
The administration recommended proposal maps have been made available in the district’s workshop agenda.
Also at last night’s board meeting, district 204 administration recommended a grandfathering option for students impacted by the boundary adjustment.
The recommended plan includes that rising 5th graders, rising 7th and 8th graders, and rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders have the option to stay at their current school or switch to their neighborhood’s reassigned school.
If approved, parents would need to decide whether to participate in grandfathering soon after and would not be able to reverse their decision.
Some board members applauded the grandfathering plan, while others expressed concerns about transportation logistics and grade cutoff points. The district is still evaluating options for transportation.
20 community members spoke at last night’s Indian Prairie School District 204 board meeting in anticipation of the district’s boundary discussion.
Most speakers represented the Ashwood Pointe and Ashwood Heights subdivisions. They spoke out against the district’s boundary concept updates from the December 8 committee meeting.
The adjusted concepts had reassigned their community from Neuqua Valley back to their current high school at Waubonsie Valley, as part of Scullen Middle School’s broken high school feeder. The administration recommended concept continues to assign those neighborhoods to Waubonsie Valley High School.
Members of those communities cited negative impacts to student social emotional health, commuting and traffic safety issues, and short notice on the changes before the boundary process moves into its final stages, among other issues.
Others spoke for communities near Owen Elementary, requesting to be assigned to Neuqua Valley High School in line with other communities on the southeast side of the district.
One speaker represented the May Watts Elementary community, pointing to high elementary school capacities slated in the updated Concept #1, and criticizing what they saw as a lack of transparency in the boundary process.
The District 204 Board of Education is expected to vote on any boundary changes, as well as the grandfathering option, at a January 10 board meeting. The district’s recommendation includes implementing boundary changes in the 2022-2023 school year.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Flanagan reports.
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