Efforts to redraw boundary lines in School District 203 have caused mixed reactions from parents. The latest plan could move more than 1,200 students, or about 7% of the student body.
Many parents have said it’s too much too soon, but at a recent public forum, many parents actually said, it may not be enough. About 400 parents gathered at the Jefferson Junior High School gym to discuss the newest map.
“It will be painful for us so we respectfully request that you rip it off like a Band-Aid,” said Mindy Predovick. “Please don’t leave our family and our community in anxiety for another year knowing this will happen.”
Though some Mill Street Elementary parents said the map – which moves 134 students from Mill to Elmwood – is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t do enough to correct problems with overcrowding.
“We’re somewhat of the way there with Mill Street but it’s a half-fix that will not carry us forward for the next ten years so we don’t have to do this again,” said Mike Crossik.
Other parents brought up issues such as grandfathering. Fifth graders will be exempt from the boundaries and so parents fear that the number of students leaving overcrowded elementary schools may actually be much lower than reflected in the plans.
“That’s really an important piece that you guys have not addressed in any of the maps,” said Kendra Panek. “I know you can’t know for sure, but i know you can get pretty close to what the estimate will be so let us know the net people coming out of Beebe.”
One Naperville mom encouraged fellow parents to accept what’s best for the overall good of the district.
“I have to say parents, don’t be afraid of moving your child to a different school,” said Kathleen Buettner. “They adapt, they find friends.”
Superintendent Mark Mitrovich said the forums overall have been an important step in the process and staff have gathered lots of feedback and suggestions.
“We need to take a look at that, consider all of our numbers in what we’re trying to do,” said Mitrovich. “I think having members of the committee here is critical because they’re hearing this along with all the written comments.”
The committee will discuss all the input at their February 15th meeting and make any changes to the redistricting map as necessary. For now, they hope to submit a final proposal for the school board on February 21st.
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