Engage 204 Talks School Boundary Changes

At the latest Engage 204, district parents packed the house to discuss district boundary changes.

It’s a topic on everyone’s minds after boundary changes for Brookdale, Brooks and Peterson elementary schools were discussed at the last school board meeting.

And many parents were concerned about the changes after choosing where to live based on the school.

“That’s probably the number one reason why you decide where you’re going to build your home if you have kids or if you’re thinking about having kids, is where you’re going to send them to school,” said Frances Cermak, a District 204 parent.

District 204 Chief Financial Officer Jay Strang said the district has enough capacity, but not in the right areas.

“We have under utilized buildings in the south and over utilized buildings in the north, and it’s really pretty consistent as you go through the district as that falls out,” said Straing.

District officials predict the trend of schools on the north side of the city growing will continue.

School Board President Michael Raczak said redistricting would ease a lot of problems in the schools.

“I think what we want to see is equity across the district in terms of space, in availability of rooms in order to make the most sense,” said Raczak.

Many parents were on board but also voiced hopes for sweeping boundary changes rather than stopgap measures.

“For the last few years, every couple of years they’ve readjusted the elementary boundaries, and I think they just need to wipe the board and start over,” said District 204 parent Tori Wegner.

When parents were asked what else they want to see before boundary changes are made, many asked for more information on how changes would affect taxes and home values.

The next community engagement session will be January 29.

Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.

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