More than 500 concerned parents packed Naperville Central High School’s auditorium for the latest District 203 board meeting. News of the administration’s plans to re-map what schools students go to caught many parents off-guard a few weeks ago.
At the meeting, the board and the Enrollment and Capacity Study Committee discussed issues related to overcrowded schools and debated on how they should move forward with redistricting.
Board members came up with criteria for the committee to keep in mind when drawing these maps. At the top of the list are building utilization, least disruption possible for students, preserving neighborhoods, and optimizing transportation.
“Any and every detail of change must be seen as necessary and purposeful,” said Karen Lindflott, a committee member. “Changes proposed should cause the least disruption for students and for neighborhoods and these changes should also cause the least disruption for school populations.”
The committee also decided to add six members, one from each of the remaining elementary schools not yet represented – whom their principals would recommend.
Ultimately the district wants more balance in the schools, while adding programming, especially all-day kindergarten.
“All-day kindergarten represents between 550 and 600 additional hours of instruction for students at that level, at the most formative level,” said Superintendent Mark Mitrovich.
Despite the progress, many of the parents in attendance left the meeting with mixed emotions.
“It’s not easy. It’s friends. It’s commitments,” said Natasha Korad. “It’s schools we’ve become a part of and a community I don’t wanna see broken up.”
“I am encouraged that they’re willing to take the time and to do the studies,” said Art Fournier. “And this is our chance to get our points across to the board of what needs to happen.”
“I have a fifth grader and she’s going to be in Jr. High,” said Shannon O’Brien. “And so we don’t know what school she’s going to be going to.”
Whatever the boundaries end up being, the board made it very clear that all high school students would be grand-fathered in, meaning those already enrolled wouldn’t have to switch schools.
The board gave the Capacity and Enrollment Study Committee a January 23rd deadline to draw and propose other possible maps. If the board comes to a decision, the new boundaries will be implemented next school year. In the meantime, district staff will hold public forums in January.
WANT MORE LOCAL NEWS?
Get daily news headlines delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!