Some students in Community Unit District 300 go to school in trailers. They don’t have a gym or an auto program. Their classrooms don’t have the capacity for full biology or chemistry labs. And their principal often finds a comfortable corner to work from a laptop so group meetings can take place in his office.
Oak Ridge School is an alternative program in Carpentersville for students who need extra support or behavioral services. It has been a part of Dist. 300 for 15 years.
“We’re this ingrained part of the district but we’re in a temporary building,” said Principal Nathan Jarot.
Jarot, who has led the school for three years, said the district keeps the trailers well maintained but has talked about finding a permanent home for his students for as long as he has been there.
This week the idea of a better building became more than just a promise.
School board members approved a resolution this week to put the Oak Ridge property at 229 Lake Marian Road on the market. The district will accept purchase offers through a public bidding process in July.
District spokeswoman Allison Strupeck said the school board has not discussed any specific sites for the Oak Ridge program but has been considering the sale of the current location for eight to 10 years.
“With the district’s renewed emphasis on providing the best possible educational environment for all students, the time is perfect to again attempt this move,” Strupeck said.
Oak Ridge has an especially low student-to-teacher ratio and often welcomes students who need tailored special education services. The school also is a last chance for students who otherwise would have been expelled from their home schools.
The program serves about 70 students in grades six through 12 but is sought after by more students than it can fit. Jarot hopes a move will allow for extra classrooms, a real gymnasium and more office space.
Depending on how long the sale and relocation processes take, Oak Ridge students could get a brick and mortar building next summer or the summer after.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.