U-46 to host town hall meetings on all-day kindergarten proposal
Elgin Area School District U-46 will host a series of town hall meetings in late September and early October to solicit feedback on boundary changes that are part of the All-Day Kindergarten Proposal.
The town hall events will offer an overview of this academic proposal as well as details on the proposed boundary changes for specific schools, but will be primarily offered as a public hearing to solicit feedback on the proposal.
"We want to listen and address any issues or concerns with these boundary changes as we work to make all-day kindergarten a reality in U-46," said Chief Executive Officer Tony Sanders. "We're hosting these meetings to solicit feedback and build upon a proposal that we hope to bring to our Board for approval by the end of this year."
Full-day kindergarten has been discussed during the development of the district's strategic plan as well as during discussions of potential boundary changes. The goal is to provide voluntary access to all-day kindergarten in all U-46 elementary schools as early as the 2016-17 school year and keep Illinois Park open as an early learning center. The plan means boundary changes impacting 16 of the district's 40 elementary schools and moving about 900, or 2.25 percent of the district's 40,000 students, to new schools.
The desire to provide full or all-day kindergarten has grown in U-46 in recent years as research has documented the benefits of early childhood education. Neighboring districts have made a similar move, in step with the rest of the state and nation.
The district's proposal, including background, facility and financial considerations can be found here.
The Citizens' Advisory Council has led the charge to review and recommend boundary changes, in consultation with the district administration, and recommended this most recent proposal for public hearings. Any final decision on the all-day kindergarten proposal must go to the board of education for final approval.
While each of the three scheduled town hall meetings will focus on proposed boundary changes for specific schools, all are welcome to attend and testify at any meeting.
Following the hearings, the all-day kindergarten proposal with boundary changes will go back to the executive committee of the Citizens' Advisory Council for review. Any proposal must ultimately go to the board of education for final approval.
Town hall meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on the following dates:
• Tuesday, Sept. 29 in the Larkin High School auditorium, 1475 Larkin Ave., Elgin, with a focus on boundary changes to impact the following schools: Hillcrest Elementary, 80 N. Airlite St., Elgin; Highland Elementary, 190 N. Melrose Ave., Elgin; Harriet Gifford Elementary, 240 S. Clifton Ave., Elgin; Lowrie Elementary, 264 Oak St., Elgin; and Otter Creek Elementary, 2701 Hopps Road, Elgin.
• Thursday, Oct. 1, in the South Elgin High School auditorium, 760 E. Main St., with a focus on boundary changes to impact the following schools: Liberty Elementary, 1375 W. Bartlett Road, Bartlett; Nature Ridge Elementary, 1899 Westridge Blvd., Bartlett; and Prairieview Elementary, 285 Mayflower Lane, Bartlett.
• Tuesday, Oct. 6, in the Elgin High School auditorium, 1200 Maroon Drive, with a focus on boundary changes to impact the following schools: Channing Elementary, 63 S. Channing St., Elgin; Ronald O'Neal, 510 Franklin Blvd., Elgin; Garfield Elementary, 420 May St., Elgin; Huff Elementary, 801 Hastings St., Elgin; Lords Park Elementary, 323 Waverly Drive, Elgin; McKinley Elementary, 258 Lovell St., Elgin; Coleman Elementary, 1220 Dundee Ave., Elgin; and Lincoln Elementary, 1650 Maureen Drive, Hoffman Estates.