District 25 considering building additions to handle enrollment jumps

Updated 1/7/2015 5:55 PM

Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 officials are considering additions to four schools among several options to deal with overcrowding.

That was one of several options Superintendent Lori Bein presented to the school board before winter break, saying officials would further examine cost estimates before the board makes a decision this spring.


Officials have said all of the district's school are "at capacity." Enrollment at four district schools -- Ivy Hill, Olive-Mary Stitt, Westgate and Windsor -- has been increasing for a few years, despite predictions to the contrary.

The issue came to a head this fall when Ivy Hill had to hire a teacher just a week before school began to accommodate the influx of students.

The district has at least 230 more students this year than it did in 2008, said Jake Chung, assistant superintendent for personnel and planning.

The possible solutions include a "significant addition" to Olive Mary-Stitt and Ivy Hill elementary schools, a smaller addition to Westgate and Windsor elementary schools, reallocating staff at all schools or evaluating specialized programs at certain schools, Bein said.

A significant addition would mean five or more classrooms and an expanded large-group space, Bein said.

Program evaluation would include the research of space utilization, student-to-teacher ratio, and the feasibility of multi-age classes when appropriate.

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Staffing evaluations would weigh the pros and cons of using an enrollment-based formula compared to using a programmatic-based view for allocating faculty, she said.

"I am confident that we are doing great work on behalf of the Arlington Heights School District 25 community," Bein said. "The research we are continuing is focused on addressing the needs to improve the teaching and learning environments for kids and staff, as well as to enhance the community utilization of our school spaces and programs."

The school board next meets at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at Greenbrier Elementary School, 2330 N. Verde Drive in Arlington Heights.

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