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updated: 1/21/2014 6:23 PM

Proposed school boundary changes discussed at Lake Villa Elementary District 41

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  • Lake Villa District 41 officials are discussing recommendations about where children from the soon-to-be shuttered Pleviak Elementary School will attend classes in 2014-15.

      Lake Villa District 41 officials are discussing recommendations about where children from the soon-to-be shuttered Pleviak Elementary School will attend classes in 2014-15.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

Lake Villa Elementary District 41 officials will make a final decision in the next month where children from the soon-to-be shuttered Pleviak Elementary School will attend classes in 2014-15.

Superintendent John Van Pelt said the redistricting committee recommendation is to split the 469 displaced students between B.J. Hooper Elementary School in Lindenhurst and William L. Thompson Elementary School in Lake Villa. The committee gave its recommendations to the school board last week.

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Most of District 41's remaining 2,450 students would not be shifted through redistricting if the board approves the proposal, Van Pelt said Tuesday.

The school board was originally scheduled to vote on the redistricting plan at the Jan. 27 meeting, he said, but the board may decide to delay that vote until Feb. 10.

An informational meeting for parents is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Palombi Middle School Auditorium, 133 McKinley Ave.

"What we will do tomorrow is describe the committee process briefly, hit the highlights of the redistricting plan, walk people through the recommendation, and talk about some of the transition components," Van Pelt said. "It is a special board meeting, but the purpose of it is to show the plan to the parents."

The boundary changes were necessary after the school board voted last June to close Pleviak at Route 83 and Grand Avenue at the end of the 2013-14 term due to financial concerns and falling districtwide enrollment. Van Pelt said there are about 500 fewer students in 2013-14 than during the 2007-08 school year, and enrollment will drop by 70 students at the start of the 2014-15 school year.

Closing the aging Pleviak School will save the district about $1.2 million annually, he said.

Before attending Wednesday's meeting, parents should view the redistricting video on the district website at district41.org to better understand where students will be going next year, Van Pelt added.

On that video, Alex Barbour, the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, said the primary parameters that drove the proposed boundary changes were to maintain and balance grade levels and to keep neighborhood students together.

"We didn't want one building with 10 sections of first grade and another that has two sections of first grade," Barbour said on the video. "We wanted to maintain that balance in terms of grade levels, but also the number of students in each grade level as well."

The redistricting committee also wanted to self-contain special education classes, early childhood classes and bilingual programs within the same facilities, he said, and it wanted to avoid having students changing schools every couple of years.

Barbour said students in grades K through 6 living in Venetian Village and the Fox Chase subdivision on the east side of Route 83 would attend Hooper Elementary School on Sand Lake Road when Pleviak closes at the end of this school year. The remaining Pleviak students would attend Thompson Elementary School on Thompson Lane.

In addition, about 90 students in the Country Walk subdivision, off Cedar Lake Road, who are enrolled at Thompson Elementary would transfer to Olive C. Martin Elementary School on West Dering Lane next year to balance enrollment numbers, he added.

Students attending Palombi, Martin and Hooper elementary schools would remain in those schools, Barbour said.

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