Palatine District 15 continues to examine potential boundary changes

Palatine Township Elementary District 15 has hired an enrollment projection consultant to help study potential boundary changes for students.

District 15 will pay at least $54,000 to RSP & Associates of Overland Park, Kansas, for its student enrollment report.

Officials have discussed boundary changes in recent years as a way to alleviate crowding in some schools and identify efficiencies in school feeder patterns. Work on the issue already has been done by a volunteer task force and an architecture firm.

"Now, RSP hopefully is going to get us the rest of the way so we really have a good direction," Superintendent Laurie Heinz said.

RSP will collect, review and analyze demographic data from District 15, the U.S. Census, Cook County, the state and towns within the school system's boundaries. District 15 includes all or parts of Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, South Barrington, Arlington Heights and Schaumburg.

Under the deal, RSP will examine the 2019-20 enrollment and issue a projection for 2021-22, plus perform a boundary analysis. CEO Robert Schwarz said RSP has a solid track record that includes a 99.9% accuracy rate in the first year of an enrollment projection for Oswego-based Community Unit School District 308 in 2017-18.

In a presentation to the District 15 school board, Schwarz said RSP's student projection accuracy over five years has been 97% or better.

"It's really a collaborative effort of getting to know certain people in your community, working with that data and understanding what that could mean as we put that through our sophisticated forecast model," Schwarz said.

Launched in 2003, RSP's suburban clients include Indian Prairie Unit District 204, Keeneyville Elementary District 20, Naperville Community Unit District 203 and Glenview School District 34.

Schwarz said one relevant population trend to consider is an increase in students from multifamily homes.

"Maybe that plays out here in (District 15). Won't know until we start working through your data, but we have some hypothesis and some actual theories we're forming on why some of those changes are occurring," Schwarz said.

District 15 is the second-largest elementary system in Illinois, with roughly 12,000 students in 20 schools.

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