With Brooks and May Watts elementary schools either at or near capacity and new housing developments in the works, the district approved the relocation of roughly 180 students in a six-to-one vote.
This decision left local parents concerned.
“I’m afraid that it’s going to cause more issues for him than good. I’m afraid that academically, he might fall backwards,” said local parent, Shirley Christie.
Other parents understand the potential difficulties, but think that the positives outweigh the negatives.
“If my child was moved in order to have a music room, an art room, a less crowded LMC, less competition for project arrow, ESL and other resources, and perhaps even slightly smaller class sizes, you’d have me at hello,” said local parent, Andrew Baffes.
The approved plan would send those in the Ashton Pointe subdivision from Brooks to Young elementary and those residing in Brittany Springs and Carrollwood from Watts to Owen elementary. 5th graders will be given the choice to remain at their existing schools.
These changes at the elementary level are only a small piece of a much larger puzzle. Based on district projections, Metea Valley High School will be over its 3,000 student capacity by the 2018-19 school year.
“Coming down the road is the need to look overall at all of the district boundaries. That would require having a boundary committee seeking community input, much more than we’ve done in this process of making these minor adjustments. And then present those recommendations to the board and then enact those new boundaries,” said Laura Johnston, Assistant Superintendent in District 204.
Some board members believe it would be better to wait to make a decision until the new developments are completed, to have a clearer sense of the district’s needs.
“Patience is something that we probably need to hold onto. I think we could actually, in a year, have a pretty good idea that this is the time. And I think a year doesn’t blow anybody out of the water,” said Board Member, Cathy Piehl.
Others say the time is now.
“It seems like the clock is ticking to me. A lot of it is going to be to see how these projections play out over the summer and the fall, but I’m not sure how much longer we can wait,” said Board Member, Mark Rising.
In the meantime, the elementary attendance adjustments will provide a short-term solution.
Naperville News 17’s Rachel Pierson reports.
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