District 15 parents launch website against plan to build new schools

Parents urge people to vote 'no' on $130 million proposal

  • Scott Thompson

    Scott Thompson

 
 
Updated 9/8/2016 6:31 AM

A group of Palatine Township Elementary District 15 parents Wednesday launched a website advocating for a "no" vote on the district's proposal to build two new schools and close the district's oldest school.

The website urges voters in District 15 to "vote no" in the district's "inherently flawed referendum" that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

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A member of the group, Melanie Santostefano, said "a few hundred" people already are on the group's email list.

The website's launch comes a day after District 15 held the first of several informational meetings on the proposal, which has a price tag of $130 million.

Tuesday's meeting at Central Road School, 3800 Central Road in Rolling Meadows, drew 37 people who were mostly parents in the school, said District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson.

District 15 will hold 18 additional meetings at each of the district's schools between Sept. 7 and Oct. 19. Thompson will be "making the lion's share of presentations," but on nights when there are multiple meetings, another administrator will present the information.

Meanwhile, district administrators are still working to hash out what they expect will be nearly final school boundary proposals this week. The plans have changed at least twice since they were originally presented in the board packet at the Aug. 17 board meeting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

District 15's facilities plan committee -- the steering committee that helped draw up the proposal -- had made keeping groups of students together from elementary school through middle school and high school a priority in the original boundaries.

"Parents informed us that this was not as important as making boundaries that made sense," Thompson said in an email. "A group of administrators investigated the suggestions from parents and made some modifications."

Recent changes to boundaries have yielded better maps, Thompson said

But while the boundary changes come as a relief to some District 15 parents, others have questioned the transparency of the boundaries and the changes that have been made since August.

The opposition website describes the District 15 proposal as a "moving target" and urges district officials to "go back to the drawing board and utilize open engagement, and meaningful dialogue with families and individuals whose lives are impacted by their decisions."

Thompson said he expects boundary maps should be "near their final form" this week. For a list and map of the currently proposed boundaries, visit www.ccsd15.net/pages/CCSD15.

The website launched Wednesday can be found at http://4rd15kids.org/.

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