New Dist. 200 boundary may split Carol Stream apartment complex

 
 
Updated 1/15/2015 8:30 AM
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  • Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 board of education members discuss a proposed change in the enrollment strategy at the Covered Bridges apartment complex in Carol Stream.

      Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 board of education members discuss a proposed change in the enrollment strategy at the Covered Bridges apartment complex in Carol Stream. Jessica Cilella | Staff Photographer

The Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 school board on Wednesday supported creating a new boundary line that would split a large apartment complex in Carol Stream more predictably between two schools.

District 200 officials say the current enrollment strategy at the Covered Bridges Apartments near North Avenue and Schmale Road is not sustainable, and they want to change it for future students.

According to the district boundary map, students living in the apartments should attend Hawthorne Elementary in Wheaton. But due to a surge in students enrolling in Hawthorne a few years ago, the district began enrolling new Covered Bridges families at Pleasant Hill Elementary in Winfield, where there was more room.

Last year, the district's enrollment committee recommended the board of education find a way to create a predictable enrollment strategy at Covered Bridges that works for both schools.

"We're not at a crisis point right now, where you have a building that is overcapacity," Superintendent Jeff Schuler said, adding that those circumstances often result in emotional boundary adjustments. "We're really at a point where we're looking at this proactively, and I think that's a very positive thing."

The proposed solution is to split the complex in two, with students living on the west side of the complex enrolled in a different school than students living on the east side of the complex.

The change will not affect any current students or Covered Bridges families who have already have a student enrolled.

Should the board approve the proposal next month, new students who move into buildings 1 through 7 at Covered Bridges will attend Hawthorne and Franklin Middle School starting next school year. New students moving into buildings 8 through 17 will attend Pleasant Hill and Monroe Middle School.

District officials met with about 35 parents at Covered Bridges this week to discuss the proposal and said it was well-received.

Other stakeholders, including staff members at both schools, also expressed support.

"We had a great conversation with them and settled any anxieties that they may have," Erica Loiacono, director of public relations for the district, said of the meeting with the Covered Bridges families.

Board President Barb Intihar said she appreciated the "foresight" and proactive approach from district staff members.

"This is the most organized proposal for boundary change I think I've experienced since I've been on the board," she said. "We always fear boundary changes, and I think we can approach this one with a lot less trepidation thanks to your preparation."

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