Glen Ellyn District 89 considers phasing in new attendance map

 
 
Updated 10/17/2017 3:37 PM
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  • D89 proposed boundaries

    Graphic: D89 proposed boundaries (click image to open)

Glen Ellyn Elementary District 89 school board members agreed Monday that they should redraw attendance boundaries in response to rising enrollment but have not yet determined how or when to implement the changes.

One proposal before the board would reassign students in four neighborhoods to different schools for the 2018-19 year. Another option would phase in the first new boundaries in the district in more than 25 years.

A task force has recommended a boundary map that would move kids who live in the International Village apartment complex in Lombard from Park View to Arbor View Elementary in the southernmost edge of the district. Students in the Canterbury Woods, Arboretum Estates and Glen Park Estates subdivisions would shift from Westfield to Arbor View Elementary.

The district also would relocate about 90 preschoolers in four classrooms from Arbor View to Briar Glen Elementary. And one specialized classroom would move from Briar Glen to Park View.

But board member Tim Jedlicka said he's leaning "very strongly" toward phasing in the same boundary plan, drawing applause from parents at a meeting Monday night.

Under that option, the district would allow students currently in kindergarten through fourth grade to remain at their existing schools. The new boundaries would be applied to incoming kindergarten students and those moving into the district. The district also would have to add several bus routes.

Board President Beth Powers acknowledged that the phased-in approach is the least disruptive for current students. But she added "there's something to be said" for fully implementing the new boundaries next year.

"'Make your decision. Just be done with it and cut it off, and we're just going to move on, and everyone's going to go where they need to go,'" she said. "These are absolutely things that we as a group need to think about and talk about."

District officials are looking for feedback on both proposals at a community forum at Glen Crest Middle School next week. A final board vote is expected in December.

Parent outcry earlier this year led the board to delay a decision on redrawing boundaries. Since then, a task force that included parents and teachers reviewed enrollment trends and four scenarios for new boundaries before making a unanimous recommendation in favor of the proposed map.

With the overhaul, the district could dramatically reduce or eliminate the number of students who transfer from their neighborhood schools to ones without space constraints. The board adopted the policy in the 2008-09 school year as enrollment dropped to balance class sizes.

But as enrollment ticked back up, the number of so-called administrative transfer students has risen sharply to 106 this school year. When the district began the practice, there were only 10 such students.

"We have too many kids currently zoned to go to Park View," Superintendent Emily Tammaru said. "That's a known problem."

Tammaru will host the Glen Crest forum at 7 p.m. Oct. 25.

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