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posted: 3/15/2010 12:01 AM

District 26: Don't change what works

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My husband is a District 26 "graduate" and we purposefully chose to live in District 26 to raise our three children so that they too would benefit from a high-quality education.

My youngest is now a freshman at Hersey and each child has proved to be well prepared academically and socially for high school and college, successfully completed many AP classes and earning many academic awards and honors as they continue their education.

I truly believe this is because of the high quality neighborhood schools they attended. Each child enjoyed and benefited from interactions with older classmates who came to their classrooms as well as their various fifth grade "jobs" when they were the older classmates whether it was being a crossing guard or reading in a kindergarten classroom.

Over 81 percent answered that "The current neighborhood configuration is important to me" when surveyed. From the beginning It has not been clear to me why our board was looking into this for our community. Is it economics? The report concluded there is no proven cost savings and there were many potential costs associated with this change. With Grade Level Centers, there are more transitions and all children need periods of adjustments after transitions before they can achieve their potential so why add that?

There would be more busing and/or staggered start and end times that would complicate family /work routines.

Lastly, what else is being considered? Since the real reason for this major change has not been made clear to me and no other plans are being publicly discussed I can't help but wonder what is really going on.

My desire is for each child in District 26 to benefit from a high-quality education like my children did and I am concerned that no other options appear to be on the boards radar.

What else can we do to preserve the reputation this district has for a high-quality education? We owe it to every child in this district to put aside our differences and personal agendas and thoroughly consider all options and be upfront and honest in the process.

Mary Meyer

Mount Prospect